• Paul Kelson

Easing of lockdown redirects spend, but online sales growth still high

Although there was some evidence that the relaxation of lockdown rules impacted online retail in July - when growth fell 10 per cent against the previous month - overall sales remained strong, recording growth of 28.3 per cent year-on-year.

The latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index showed that while people appeared to initially divert spend away from online the week (commencing 5 July) after some lockdown rules were lifted, this decline was short-lived and sales for the following week (commencing 12 July) rose again by 27 per cent year-on-year.

This disruption of pandemic spending patterns could also be seen at a category level. With external social activities restarting, clothing sales were up for the first time since lockdown began, growing by 0.6 per cent year-on-year, in comparison to last month’s fall of 6.5 per cent.

The warmer weather and increased amount of time outdoors also triggered sales in gardening to soar to 96.9 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, both the health and beauty and electrical categories saw further rises of 38.3 per cent and 62.4 per cent respectively.

Breaking down the results by retailer type, multi-channel retailers continued to outperform their online-only counterparts, recording growth of 45 per cent, versus 8.4 per cent.

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant for retail insight at Capgemini, said: "As we navigate the next few months it is crucial that retailers are able to continue to enhance the experience both online and in store to meet changing need and emerging challenges that are facing the retail landscape."

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