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Online retail sales up 5000% since 2000, high street up by 21%

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The IMRG Capgemini Index has recorded growth of over 5,000% since it launched in April 2000 — while the ONS Retail Sales Index for high street sales has recorded growth of 21%.

Over the past nine years UK internet shoppers have spent an estimated £200 billion online, rising from £0.8 billion in 2000 to an estimated £43.8 billion last year. Annual growth was strongest in financial years 2000, 2001 and 2002, since when the Index has recorded an average annual growth of 41%.

More recently, the Index grew by 1197 points between April 2006 and April 2007 (54%) and 1009 points between April 2007 and April 2008 (30%). Between April 2008 and April 2009 the Index shows the UK e-retail market grew by 14%, indicating a record period of low growth.

Both the clothing and the electricals sectors have recorded consistently strong growth since the Index launched. The clothing sector has continued to grow rapidly, increasing 1990% since February 2001. This sector consistently outperformed the total e-retail market and all other online sectors in terms of Index value throughout 2008 and was the fastest growing online sector last year.

The electricals sector has been particularly strong in the past three to four years, recording a growth of 877% since February 2002. Sales of beer, wines & spirits have steadily been increasing over recent years, showing seasonal spikes during November and December. The beer, wines & spirits index has grown by 455% since February 2002. The online gifts sector has been quite volatile since it launched in September 2002, showing a large spike at the end of 2006. However, overall this sector has remained fairly static, growing just 19% since 2002.

The overall amount spent on health & beauty products has not increased in the 31 months the Index has tracked this sector. There are, however, seasonal spikes in November and December which also show year-on-year growth. The lingerie index was broken out in April 2007 and looked promising in the first year, recording a growth of 73%, but between April 2008 and April 2009 online lingerie sales decreased by 26%.

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