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Ecommerce feels Black Friday ‘hangover as January sales grow by only 7%: IMRG

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Online shopping is still feeling a Black Friday “hangover”, with deep discounting at the end of November now having a knock-on effect on January sales growth, according to new IMRG figures.

The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index found the ecommerce market grew by 7% in January, compared to the same time last year. In sectors that saw deep discounting around the key pre-Christmas sale date of Black Friday (November 28), sales fell compared to last time. In the electricals and home and gardens categories, for example, sales fell by 9% last month, on last year.

Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail at Capgemini , said sales in these categories had been “sluggish” since Black Friday. “This suggests,” he said, “that the Black Friday ‘hangover’ has continued into 2015, dampening the traditional sales spike in key, high value categories during the January sales.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG , said: “The knock-on effect of Black Friday is clearly continuing to be seen for online retalers with the index recording single-digit annual growth for the second consecutive month.

“Though the January growth rate seems low, this is directly connected to the record low increase of 5% seen in December. Interestingly, the average basket value of £81 is the highest we’ve seen during January in four years – suggesting that there was less discounting this January as retailers shifted much of their stock over the Black Friday peak.”

Categories that did see sales rises included travel, where online sales grew by 21%, year-on-year, and 183% on December, as shoppers spent an average of £81 per transaction, the highest basket value since January 2011.

Clothing sales also rose by 14% in January, with accessories and footwear up by 40% and 20% respectively.

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