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Online sales growth outpaces stores in July: ONS

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UK shoppers spent £6.7bn a week in July, of which an estimated £505.1m was spent online, according to the latest Government figures. While online sales accounted for just 8.5% of total retail sales, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)’s Retail Sales figures for July 2012, their growth outstripped that seen in bricks and mortar stores. Online food sales fell while sales at department stores and other non-food outlets grew strongly.

In all, retail sales grew by 3.1% in value and 2.8% in volume in July, compared to the same time last year, the ONS figures showed. Compared to the previous month they were up by 0.8% in value and 0.3% in volume. At the same time internet sales grew by 14.1% in value on last year. In all, the ONS estimated that 8.5% of all retail sales, excluding automotive fuel, took place online.

The figures found a 3.2% fall in online sales of food, compared to the same time last year, but sales of non-food items grew by 16%. The biggest growth was seen at department stores, who enjoyed online sales growth of 31.3%, while textiles, clothing and footwear stores saw sales up by 23.5% and household goods stores saw them rise by 11%.

Commenting, Alex Buckley, VP EMEA at Venda said “Despite retailers’ every effort to capitalise on the fever of GB pride and increased tourist traffic, these statistics really show is that there were no gold medals handed out for value or volume during the Olympics.

“Whilst its clear that the Olympics was no magic bullet for the UK’s bricks and mortar retailers, a July increase of 0.8 is encouraging compared to initial estimates from the ONS. Online however continues to increase its share of the retail market and with the increasing quality of imagery and ease of online shopping it’s no wonder. With functions like same or next day delivery or deliver to store, its becoming increasingly simple to view and secure the products you want straight away, with the same trust and confidence in the product that you would feel in a physical store.”

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