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Growth of online clothing sales doubles in August

16 Sep 2014

Last-minute holiday essentials result in nine month record for online sales

• 18% year-on-year growth in August; strongest level of growth since November 2013

• Clothing sector up 20% year-on-year; double the growth recorded in June and July (10%)

• Sales in electricals continues strong performance; 19% annual growth boosted by surge in high-powered vacuum cleaners 

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has revealed that the UK online retail sector has experienced its strongest level of annual growth since November 2013, recording a year-on-year increase of 18% in August. 

An estimated £8.1 billion was spent online, with much of the growth driven by a particularly impressive performance from the clothing sector, which saw an annual growth of 20%; double the growth that was recorded in June and July (10%). The accessories sub-sector saw an even greater increase, a significant 60% year-on-year, which could be attributed to shoppers splashing out on last-minute holiday essentials during the holiday high-season.

With so many Brits packing up and heading to sunnier climes over August, other sectors experienced a far less positive performance, such as the home subsector, which recorded a disappointing 1% increase on the same period last year.

A sector that fared much better last month is electricals. After a surprising dip in June, online sales rose to a very solid 19% in July and have continued at the same level in August, boosted by the recent surge in purchases of high-powered vacuum cleaners, following an EU directive banning models of more than 1,600 watts.

Andrew McClelland, Chief Policy and Operations Officer at IMRG, said: “A cold spell during August combined with the launch of Autumn/Winter 2014 clothing ranges boosted e-retail growth. Interestingly, the High Street brands continued to perform particularly strongly with Electrical sales vying for the top spot this month. Overall Index growth of 18% sees us on target to exceed the earlier expectations of growth for 2014. A £100 Billion year is certain to be exceeded in 2014.”

Alex Smith-Bingham, Vice President, Digital Services Leader, Capgemini, said: “August’s results revealed a real spark in the confidence of the British consumer, with an increase in spend on clothing accessories, such as sandals and other holiday essentials, but a drop in the staycation spend on the home. It will be interesting to see whether there will be a significant uptick in little luxuries around the home during the autumn months now the majority of holidaymakers have returned home.”

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About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’
The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks ‘online sales’, which we define as ‘transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels’ from any location, including in-store. 
Over one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including A. Hume Country Clothing, Addict, Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Alison at Home, Amara, Appliance House, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct,, B&Q, Bank, Berry Bros & Rudd,, Blacks,,, Boots Direct, Brora,, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt, Clarks,,, Damart, Debenhams, Deckers, Dune, Dunelm Mill, Effortless Skin, Ethical Superstore, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings (Freemans, Grattan, Look Again, Kaleidoscope, Curvissa, Swimear365, Witt International UK), Game, Get The Label, Getting,, Hobbs, Home & Cook, JD Sports, J D Williams, John Lewis Partnership,,, LK Bennett, M and M Direct, Majestic Wine, Marks & Spencer,  Millets, Moss Bros, Naked Wines,, New Look, Next, Perfect Handbags Perricone MD,, Philip Kingsley, PIXmania,, QVC, Redfoot Revolution, Richer Sounds, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Schuh, Scotlight Direct, Scott,, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Kays, Littlewoods, Very, Isme, Woolworths), Serenata Flowers, Size, Sofa and Home, Sparkling Strawberry,, SuperGA,, The Body Shop,  The Mat Factory, , The White Company, This is Pulp, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Waitrose, Wilkinson Hardware & Wynsors World of Shoes.
About IMRG
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit or email 
About Capgemini
With more than 130,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2013 global revenues of EUR 10.1 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

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