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Online Retail Sales Continue to Boom Despite Return of Brick-and-Mortar Stores

09 Jul 2020

LONDON UK – July 8, 2020: Even as the high street came out of hibernation last month, June’s online retail sales spiked to a new twelve-year high of +33.9% Year-on-Year (YoY). That’s according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

Last month’s acceleration in online sales was underpinned by the continued success of almost every category. Leading the pack, electrical sales saw the largest increase – up a staggering +99.7% YoY. Meanwhile, with pubs still closed beer, wine & spirit sales swelled to +79.9% YoY, which represents an astonishing increase of +78.8% Year-to-Date (YTD). In a further nod towards shifting consumer habits, health & beauty sales were also up +72.8% YoY – untouched by the reopening of their physical counterparts.

Unfortunately, demand in clothing failed to return as lockdown eased, with sales falling by -6.5% YoY. This decline was underscored by poor performances in footwear, womenswear and menswear – down -18.4%, -15.1% and -10.7% respectively.

Examining the retailers by type, sales in June were overwhelmingly driven by multichannel sellers. Continuing the trend from March, multichannel retailers recorded far higher growth for the fifth consecutive month over their online-only counterparts, with sales up +51.7% versus +10.0%.

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant – Retail Insight, Capgemini: “Online sales have continued to go from strength to strength in June, albeit at a slower rate than last month.  Clothing, is the only sector to have remained in negative YOY results online, with footwear down -18%, womenswear down  –15%, perhaps surprising as we might expect to see a resurgence in fashion due to pent up demand as restrictions ease.

The persistent increase in eCommerce will likely translate into new habits that will continue as we transition out of lockdown, however, this is expected to be at lower levels than we have seen during the lockdown period.  As the weeks continue, we will see if we have reached the turning point in online sales growth and which behaviours are here to stay as spending starts to revert to a ‘new normal’.”

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG:

“In June, growth for online retail sales was once again at a rate we’ve not seen since 2008, even with the shops open for half of it. So, initially at least, online has proven resilient to the reopening of the other main outlet for retail; the high street. However, as of 4th July, people have more options for how to spend their money, as pubs, restaurants and other leisure spaces have opened.

“So how long will the online boom last? For some categories (such as grocery and beers, wine and spirits) it seems reasonable to assume that some of the regular demand will have shifted online for good, while for other categories the huge surges they have seen might reach natural limits and slow down. It seems remarkable to suggest that we might be seeing the gradual start of that in garden, where in the last week of June for example, growth was ‘only’ +57% – the lowest for that category since lockdown started.”


About the ‘IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index’

The IMRG Capgemini Online Retail 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.

*Please note from January 2020 the Index no longer includes data from the travel sector

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

A global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation, Capgemini is at the forefront of innovation to address the entire breadth of clients’ opportunities in the evolving world of cloud, digital and platforms. Building on its strong 50-year heritage and deep industry-specific expertise, Capgemini enables organizations to realize their business ambitions through an array of services from strategy to operations. Capgemini is driven by the conviction that the business value of technology comes from and through people. It is a multicultural company of over 200,000 team members in more than 40 countries. The Group reported 2018 global revenues of EUR 13.2 billion.