26 May 2024, 03:49
By Furniture News Aug 10, 2016

Online sales fare well in July

Online sales of non-food products in the UK continued to outperform the market in July, growing 11.2% YOY. This is lower than the above-trend growth of 14.7% seen in July 2015, but up from the previous month (9%) and in line with the 12-month average of 11.1%, reports BRC-KPMG in its latest Online Retail Sales Monitor.

Online sales represented 20.4% of total non-food sales, against 19.4% in July 2015.

Online furniture sales picked up again in July, with penetration up YOY, although the rate of growth slowed from last year’s levels. According to the monitor, there is little evidence that the weaker performance of furniture sales is a sign of consumers choosing to put off all larger purchases – rather that both the warm weather and the emerging signs of a cooling in the housing market are weighing on growth.

Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC chief executive, comments: “Online (non-food) sales echoed the performance of total sales this month, with growth rising back to the 12-month average. The brief drop-off in online sales activity in the few days following the referendum turned out to be a blip as consumers, who had turned their attentions to browsing for details about the EU, quickly returned to spending online.

“As with in-store sales, there was widespread promotional activity in July. That is usual for this time of year, although a number of retailers undertook longer and broader promotions as a result of the substantial accumulated stock resulting from a sluggish first half of 2016. We’ll have to watch and wait to see if the success of promotions spills over on to full-price sales.

“Whilst there doesn’t appear to be much sign of the reported fall in consumer confidence feeding into sales, with the rapid and multi-faceted evolution of internet centred technology, customers are becoming increasingly savvy and expectant of low prices. Given the fierce competition in the market, retailers have little choice but to rise to the challenge.”

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