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Online sales grow by 17% in April: IMRG

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Online sales grew by 17% to £7.8bn in April as shoppers responded to warmer weather by updating their wardrobes and their homes, according to IMRG figures.

The etail trade association said that online sales were lifting with the UK economy.

“As the UK economy continues to pick up pace, it is evident that the online retail sector is also seeing positive trends during the recovery,” said Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG.

“For the fourth consecutive month we have seen annual growth in e-retail sales exceed the performance in the comparable period last year, resulting in overall growth of 17% year-to-date.” That’s in line with the IMRG’s overall forecast for 2014.

Online clothing sales grew by 17% during the month, while the home and garden sector saw ecommerce sales lift by 23%, according to the April IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Garden sales alone were up by 47% on April last year.

Year-on-year health and beauty sales rose by 32% while alcohol sales lifted by 19% on March, and were particularly strong in the run-up to the Easter weekend. Conversely, travel sales grew by only 6% in the month, year-on-year. At the same time last year, travel sales grew by 16%.

Chris Webster, VP, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini , said: “April’s results perfectly illustrate the impact that sustained high levels of confidence in the economic recovery continue to have on our shopping habits as demonstrated by our investment in home and garden. This, combined with a spell of fine weather, following the wet winter months, has encouraged us to splash out on our summer wardrobes while putting off that foreign holiday.”

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