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Online sales grew by 12% in January: ONS

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Ecommerce grew by 12% in January, according to official figures out today, with online grocery sales growing at their fastest rate for more than a year.

Average weekly spending online rose to £753.3m, according to the ONS Retail Sales report for January 2015, while online spending in predominantly food stores was up by 14.9% compared to January 2014 – the largest year-on-year growth in the sector since April 2014.

The amount spent online overall accounted for 11.6% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel. That’s up from 10.7% in January 2014.

Online sales in department stores grew by 8.8% to account for 10.1% of total retail spending in the category, while textile, clothing and footwear online sales grew by 11.8% and accounted for 11.6% of category spending. Household goods online spending grew by 2.1% to account for 6.1% of all sales in the category.

Meanwhile, UK retail sales as a whole grew by 5.4%, making 22 consecutive months of growth, despite a 0.3% fall in the quantity bought. Over the course of the month, some £25.8bn – or £6.5bn a week was spent in the retail industry in January, down from from £45bn in December 2014 but up from £31.7bn in January 2014.

Commenting on the online sales figures, Philip Smith, UK country manager at Trusted Shops , said: “Although great deals online are driving sales and further growth to websites, it’s the multichannel strategies (click and collect) that are driving footfall direct to store. Browsing and paying online then collecting in store is not only convenient for the consumer, it’s giving retailers two bites of the cherry as impulse buying in store is highly likely when a consumer arrives to collect their goods.

“2015 will continue to see strong growth particularly for retailers that are increasing their online presence both in Europe and internationally. Selling online has made it easier for retailers to find new customers overseas and bring more money into the UK.”

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