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Feeling good online

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Falling consumer confidence may be hitting the high street, but online it seems retailers are feeling good according to news out today.

IMRG’s Online Confidence Survey, published today, said more than two thirds online retailers believed they would see excellent performances continuing through the year. At the same time John Lewis also reported ecommerce growth topping 30% for the week just gone. saw sales in the week to April 2 grow by 32.3%, compared to the same time last year, John Lewis Group said today. Turnover in the first nine weeks of the year, to April 2, is up by 26.1% in this channel. But sales are less buoyant in the high street, with a 1.4% rise in total sales in the week to April 2, and a 0.8% fall in sales in the nine weeks to April 2. Compared to the previous week, sales were up by 12%.

Reporting on the figures, Dino Rocos, operations director for John Lewis, said that week-on-week boost had been driven by an improvement in the weather, Mother’s Day and a promotion to match a competitor’s prices. He said that the week was strong online across departments. “Fashion stood out,” he said, “closing at +82% on last year. The demand for Click & Collect continues to increase with double last year’s transactions.”

The IMRG survey found 71% were confident a strong start to the year would continue or improve, while 48% were confident they were prepared for the mass uptake of m-commerce. Some 69%, however, believed proposed changes to EU regulation through the Consumer Rights Directive would have a negative effect.

Andrew McClelland, director of operations and regulatory affairs at IMRG, said: “It is perhaps not surprising to see that online confidence is riding high following the first quarter of 2011, with the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index recording strong growth of over 20% for both January and February.

“Although this would seem to contradict the fears that the CRD amendments will have a negative impact on e-retail, this could be because any changes will most likely not come into force until 2012.”

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