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Scorching April fuels e-commerce growth

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Bank holidays and hot sunny weather enticed shoppers in the UK to spend a total of £5.2bn online in April, up 19% on April 2010, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. New summer clothes were being purchased thanks to the sunshine, with sales in this category up 32% year-on-year. Alcohol for enjoyment during the Royal Wedding and other Bank Holidays was another popular choice – the average online order reached £174, more than double the April 2010 figure, and 20% up on March.

Another sector benefitting from the warmer weather was home and garden. The sector grew 14% year-on-year and 11% month-on-month.

Not all sectors benefitted from the soaring temperatures, however. Spend on travel continued to disappoint in April, with the Index reporting an 8% drop from March and a lowly 1% increase from April last year. It’s thought austerity measures being implemented by the Government, combined with the warm weather, have possibly convinced consumers that a ‘staycation’ is a good alternative to overseas trips.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini said: “April was a very strong month for the online retail sector. 19% annual growth demonstrates, once again, the value consumers and retailers alike are placing on e-commerce. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that consumers continue to spend on-line, despite rising inflation and stagnant wages, resulting in a very flat performance on the high-street.”

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