Online sales grew strongly in October as shoppers went online to buy ahead of Christmas, figures from both the ONS and IMRG suggest today.
Ecommerce sales grew by 26.8% last month, according to the Office for National Statistics’ Retail Sales index for October 2016, while the IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index for the month showed growth of 18.9%.
The sharp rise in online sales helped to lift overall retail sales. ONS figures show overall retail sales grew by 7.4% in volume and by 6.6% in value, compared to last October. That’s the fastest growth seen since April 2002. It came as ecommerce sales grew to £1bn a week, accounting for 15.2% of all retail spending. Ecommerce non-store retailing sales grew by 32.5%, with 77.6% of spending in this category now online, while online sales at household goods stores rose by 42.1%, to account for 10.2% of all retail sales in this category. Online food sales grew by 24.9% to account for 5% of sales in the category.
Kate Davies, ONS senior statistician, said: “The strong figures this month have been boosted by several factors. Cooler temperatures in October boosted clothing sales as shoppers took their cue to purchase winter clothing, while the supermarkets benefitted from Halloween. This has also coincided with the strongest growth in internet sales seen for five years.”
IMRG figures suggested a resurgence in sales completed over tablet devices, up by 6% on last year and 18% on last month.
Justin Opie, managing director of IMRG ??, said: “The index has performed ahead of expectation so far in 2016 – we recently adjusted our start-of-year forecast from +11% growth to +15% as a consequence – and October’s results continued this trend. On the surface a drop in conversion should logically lead to lower growth, but a five-year high for basket values and the likelihood of increased site traffic as people start researching in advance of Black Friday seems to have offset any negative impact. In recent years Black Friday has become an incredibly important period for determining a retailer’s success at the peak time of year, so retailers will hope that higher basket values can be sustained over the coming few weeks.”
The news came as Ted Baker ?? today reported fast ecommerce growth in its latest quarter.
The upmarket fashion brand said ecommerce sales grew by 30.3% in total – or by 25.9% once currency fluctuations were discounted. They accounted for 15.6% of total retail sales and came as the company continued its strategy of international expansion. It added more than 30,000 sq ft in retail space, in locations including Atlanta, Miami and Calgary, while also opening in department stores in China, Germany, Japan and Spain. Licensed stores opened in markets including Dubai and South Africa.
Overall retail sales grew by 15.4%, or 6.7% in constant currency, and group revenue was up by 14.8%.
Ray Kelvin CBE, founder and chief executive said: “The brand continues to perform well despite challenging trading conditions and we remain focused on the long-term development of Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand.
“Our continued growth and development reflects the strength of the brand, our business model and our unwavering focus on product quality and design, underpinned by the skill, innovation and passion of our teams globally. The reaction to our collections has been very encouraging, however, the group’s full year results will, as always, be dependent on trading conditions over the important Christmas period.”
Wholesale sales grew by 13.2% (6.7% in constant currency) reflecting good performances from both UK and North American businesses.
Mentioned in this piece…
- Ted Baker