23 April 2024, 12:12
By Furniture News Jun 10, 2015

Consumers increasingly embrace big-ticket online purchases

Sales of large home products online accelerated in May, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor. Online growth in Furniture and Household Appliances accelerated over their April performance, and retailers were pleased with the performance of with bedroom and dining furniture in particular.

This came along with a strong store performance as well, leading to a modest increase in the proportion of online versus total sales in May, up 0.8% to 25.8%. Furniture has crept up in the online ranking table, with its latest ranking higher than its three-month average, itself higher than its 12-month average. Meanwhile, retailers are managing to attract customers with less frequent but more focused promotions than before.

Some retailers mentioned that House Textiles and Home Accessories were among their worst performers in May, but that was against relatively good performances in May last year. The weather played a role in delaying the renewing of winter duvets for lighter ones. Online sales only modestly outperformed store sales.

Overall, online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 9.9% in May versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 17% over the previous year. This tough comparative explains why May falls behind the 12-month average growth of 11.9%.

Helen Dickinson, director general, British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “Positive consumer confidence was illustrated in May by good growth in big-ticket items such as furniture and domestic appliances, particularly online. Over the last 12 months online has contributed more to non-food sales growth than bricks-and-mortar stores, rewarding the substantial investment retailers have piled into new channels in recent years.”

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