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IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index: Online retail records lowest ever October growth

19 Nov 2015

• Index registers just 8.9% YoY growth – the lowest annual growth for October since the Index began

• Clothing, garden and electrical sectors suffer as consumers withhold spending in run up to Black Friday

• Sectors selling low-cost items have strong month however

19th November, 2015 – The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that online retail sales recorded their lowest year-on-year (YoY) growth for the month of October since the Index launched 15 years ago – up just 8.9% as retailers entered the peak period. It is likely that this is influenced by expectation of impending Black Friday discounts causing consumers to withhold spending in the hope of lower prices in November.

Looking at individual sectors, some of those selling higher-cost products such as garden and electricals recorded negative growth in October, with the average electricals basket value down a full 12% on October 2014. Clothing sales growth was also probably impacted by the mild weather last month[1].

Conversely, sectors that typically have lower average basket values such as accessories, footwear and lingerie recorded a solid performance in October, with an annual increase of 24%, 23% and 19% respectively.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer aIMRG, comments“The ‘pre-peak lag’, where shoppers hold off from making purchases in expectation of bagging a discount over the Black Friday peak, may have started far earlier than last year – as October 2015 growth was significantly down on October 2014. Interestingly though the sectors that typically stock lower-cost items – including accessories, lingerie, footwear, health & beauty and gifts – continue to perform strongly, while some sectors stocking higher-cost items (electricals and garden) recorded negative growth in October.”

Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini, commented: “Given the level of discounting we saw in 2015 a slow-down in sales during the run up to Black Friday is natural. As customers are delaying their spend, particularly for the high spend items, retailers should consider how to maximise that touch point with the customer for future sales pre or post-Christmas.

The Index also revealed a significant trend in terms of a growing performance disparity between online only retailers compared to their multichannel counterparts. In October, online-only retailers saw sales increase 18% on the same period last year, 14 percentage points higher than that of multichannel retailers, which recorded just 4%.   – ENDS – 


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, Amara, Appliance House, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct,, B&Q, Ben Sherman, Berry Bros & Rudd, Blacks,, Boots, Brora,, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt, Clarks, Clinkards,,, Damart, Debenhams, Deckers, 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,, House of Fraser,, JD Sports, JD Williams, John Lewis Partnership,, Lakeland Furniture, Liz Earle, LK Bennett, M and M Direct, Made in Design, Majestic Wine, Marks & Spencer,  Millets, Moss Bros, Naked Wines,, New Look, Next,,,,, QVC, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Schuh, Scotlight Direct, Scott,,, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Littlewoods, Very, Very Exclusive, Serenata Flowers, Silentnight, Size, Sofa and Home, Sparkling Strawberry,,, The Body Shop, The Great Gift Company, The Mat Factory, The White Company, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Universal Music,  Waitrose, Within Home, Woods of Shropshire & Wynsors World of Shoes.

About IMRG

For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry.

We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indexes provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 40 additional KPIs.

Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.

About Capgemini

Now with 180,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2014 global revenues of EUR 10.573 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business, technology and digital solutions that fit their needs, enabling them to achieve innovation and competitiveness. 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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