EconomyOnline & Digital

Hot weather and World Cup fever spurs online retail growth

UK online retail sales were up during June this year, as the hot weather and start of the FIFA World Cup spurred 16.9% year-on-year (YoY) growth in retail sales, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Both multichannel and online only retailers performed well, increasing 14.8% and 18.7% respectively. The garden sector saw the largest increase of 49.9% YoY growth, as the World Cup and heatwave prompted the sale of barbeques and other outdoor furniture and appliances.

This was followed by clothing, which saw YoY growth of 19.3%, including 23.9% growth for accessories and 22.7% growth for footwear. Health, beauty and gifts sales were slightly more subdued, with 9.9% and 10.5% YoY growth respectively. The smartphone has been the main device which has contributed to the increase in sales with 34% more transactions made with a phone in June.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini, said: “June has seen continued buoyant sales online, strongly influenced by fashion and seasonal items. This has boosted non-essential spend while customers make the most of the buzz created by the good weather and the World Cup.

“We might question what the longer term effect is as Barclaycard report that one in three Brits have spent more than normal so far this summer. This could result in a slowdown as customers align the potential overspend so far this summer in the later months of the year, supported by four in 10 saying they will hold off purchasing big ticket items.

Electrical and home sectors have the lowest June YoY growth in the last five years, a reminder of caution during political uncertainty and upcoming interest rate increases.”

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