The rate of online retail penetration was above 20% for the third consecutive month this March, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, comments: “Online and digital continue to grow strongly showing a healthy uplift of 9.5%. Over £1 in every £5 spent on non-food was spent online, the third highest proportion on record. This was coupled with an overall decline in non-food store sales, although the furniture, home accessories and health and beauty categories showed growth in stores for the month. Across the three-month period from January to March there was a rise of 0.9% in non-food store sales.
“In today’s increasingly digital environment, retailers continue to invest in online and omnichannel strategies to evolve with changing consumer shopping habits. There is a need to think differently about the retail offer, whether digital or in store, as people crave more theatre and experience. Government also has a role to play in recognising the significance of the ongoing structural change and how the implications of this will be uneven across different parts of the country, different parts of the workforce and for different sizes of business.”
David McCorquodale, head of retail, KPMG, adds: “While online growth slowed further in March - dropping below 10% for non-food sales - penetration rates rose slightly remaining above 20% for the third consecutive month as colder March weather meant consumers shied away from the shelves in favour of the sofa.
“Homeware categories once again stood out as consumers took advantage of school holidays and long Easter weekend to spruce up their homes."