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IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index: Sales return to double digit growth in September

16 Oct 2015

London – The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that UK online retail sales returned to double-digit growth in September following a weak August, recording a 12% increase on the same period last year. The Index has grown 10% during the third quarter of 2015, and as the sector prepares itself for the busy Christmas period, the year-to-date growth also remains at 10%. 

The September performance was boosted by the late Summer Bank Holiday which fell within the first week of the month, helping the Index grow 8% on August, although growth was still slightly lower than might have been expected. The Indian summer experienced in many parts of the country was likely to have been a contributing factor. Parents updating back-to-school wardrobes helped the clothing sector to record 12% year-on-year (YoY) growth, though that was on top of flat September growth in 2014 – the warm weather was probably an influence there, holding back shoppers from buying autumn-wear.

The home sector reported a particularly strong month, with an increase of 47% YoY. And as a result of the launch of the new iPhone 6S, the electrical sector, which has had a disappointing 2015, saw a spike in September; up 6.4% on the same period last year, its second highest YoY growth this year.

Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini, commented: “Whilst it’s reassuring to see the Index return to double digit growth, it’s not as strong as the sector would have liked. With the Rugby World Cup, the warm weather and the late Bank Holiday, retailers could be forgiven for expecting a better performance in September. As we approach the busy Christmas period, and with Black Friday just a few weeks away, it will be interesting to see whether British shoppers have intentionally held back for the heavy discounting the festive season brings.”

Andy Mulcahy, editor at IMRG: “It’s been a very topsy-turvy year so far in 2015 for online retail growth – we had a slow Q1, a strong Q2 and now an average Q3. While we might have expected growth to be higher in September – it was building on flat growth in September 2014 – the prolonged period of very warm weather will have impacted upon shopper behaviour so it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of Q4 we get; certainly all the indicators are suggesting that the Black Friday peak will evolve again to become an even bigger shopping event than it was last year.”

Sales made via mobile devices (either a smartphone or tablet) saw an annual increase of 41% in September. Year-to-date, it has grown 43% in 2015, compared to 46% at the same point in 2014.


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, 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, Isme), 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, Wilkinson Hardware, 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 organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

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