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Online sales grew at slowest level for more than a year in September: BRC

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Online sales grew at their slowest rate in September for more than a year as an Indian summer dissuaded shoppers from stocking up their winter wardrobes, BRC figures showed today.

Today’s BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor suggested that non-food sales grew by 8.2% last month, their slowest rate since July 2013. They accounted for 17.5% of total non-food sales during the month.

The slower growth came as total retail sales fell by 2.1%. In the same month last year they grew by 0.7%. Total sales, accoridng to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, were down by 0.8%, where last year they rose by 2.4%.

Clothing and footwear were the poorest performing categories across both online and total retail thanks to September’s higher temperatures, the monitor showed. “Selling woolly jumpers in warm weather is a tough ask, even for the most talented of sales staff,” said David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG .

Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium , said: “September saw the lowest online growth since July 2013. For the first time clothing and footwear contributed to an overall decline of the non-food category sales online. That said there was still growth of online sales at 8.2 per cent year-on-year but the rate of growth was notably slowed compared to August 2014 when it was 19.5 per cent.

“Online sales continued to represent an increased proportion of UK non-food sales, at 17.5 per cent, up 1.3 percentage point from last year. For the first time, the growth of total UK non-food sales over the last three months has owed more to the online purchases than in store buying. This promises another record Christmas to come for online sales.”

McCorquodale added: “We have seen heavy investment from retailers in their online systems this month as many have spent the summer testing and refining their online operations ready for the all-important run up to Christmas. As the orders begin rolling in, these investments will quickly pay dividends.”

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