Company News • 14.05.2014

Stores enjoy Easter sales boost over online

Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 11.2 per cent in April versus a year earlier. In April 2013, they had increased by 6.3 per cent over the previous year.

In April, online sales represented 16.1% of total Non-Food sales of our Monitor, against 15.9 per cent in April 2013. April's penetration is the lowest recorded by our monitor since last April, an effect of the Easter distortion.

The Other Non-Food category contributed almost 80 per cent of the growth, followed for the first time by Furniture, a category helped by the Easter break, which recorded its best contribution since our monitor began in December 2012. In contrast, Easter led Clothing to record its smallest contribution since the start of the monitor.

Online sales contributed 0.5 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales, the lowest contribution since March 2013.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "Online sales have grown steadily over the last year with a twelve month average change of 12.7 per cent year on year which is testament to the great British online retail offering. However the April 2014 growth of 11.2 per cent against 12.8 per cent in March shows that, when an opportunity like the Easter holiday arises, customers like to enjoy a great experience in store.

"Retailers know that customers want to experience shopping across all channels and have risen to the challenge of using digital technology to draw customers into new format stores where everything is available at the touch of a button."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "While the Easter break helped the high street, the sunshine proved to be something of a distraction to the online channel, which saw sales slow, with just over 16 per cent of non-food items bought online. While this is a fall on previous months' levels, it is an expected blip and reminds us that when the sun shines and people are on holiday, they are still attracted by the theatre of the store. Now the Easter bank holiday season has passed, I expect online sales to continue unabated."

Source: British Retail Consortium

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