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Online retail sales up 70% in February

Footwear sales in particular reportedly grew nearly 50% during the week of the ‘roadmap’ to recover announcement

Online retail sales reportedly increased 69.5% year-on-year in February 2020, as Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown supported consumer confidence.

While the figure is slightly lower than January’s 74% growth, it is above the three, six, and 12-month rolling averages of 57.1%, 42.5%, and 42.7% year-on-year respectively.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, the Government’s easing of restrictions announcement resulted in a 64.7% rise in the sale of beer, wine, and spirits, and a 131% increase to home and garden purchases.

Moreover, clothing sales also represented an upward trend of 21.3%, with footwear sales increasing 46.7% on the week on Johnson’s announcement.

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant for retail insight at Capgemini, said: “Pent up demand will benefit sectors such as clothing where spending has been low throughout the pandemic. 

“Increased reasons to refresh wardrobes and social events making their way back on to the calendar will also provide a much-needed boost and hopefully a strong performance for 2021.”

She added that while online growth has been “highest in this third national lockdown,” the year-on-year comparisons will look different once the 12-month difference separates two lockdown periods.

Andy Mulachy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, said: “During lockdown one (22 Mar-15 Jun), the average rate of growth was +47%; for lockdown three (27 Dec-now) it is +74%. 

“That rate of growth cannot be sustained once we get into April, but the extent to which spend[ing] will be diverted strongly away to ‘experience’ options such as travel, going out, live events etc. is a very tough question to answer.”

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