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September online sales up by 15.2%: ONS

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UK shoppers spent 15.2% more online in September than they did at the same time last year, new Government figures estimated this week.

The average internet spend of £847.7m per week was 4.5% ahead of last month, and accounted for 12.8% of total average UK retail spending of £7bn a week, or £35.1bn during the month, the Office for National Statistics estimates in its Retail Sales Bulletin for September 2015. Total retail sales grew by 6.5% in quantity on last year, making September the 29th month in a row of year-on-year sales growth.

Kate Davies, ONS head of retail sales statistics, said: “Falling in-store prices and promotions around the Rugby World Cup are likely to be the main factors why the quantity bought in the retail sector increased in September at the fastest monthly rate seen since December 2013. The retail sector is continuing to grow with September seeing the 29th consecutive month of year-on-year increases.”

The fastest online growth came in household goods stores, where internet sales grew by 23.8% and made up 6.8% of all retail sales in the category. Department stores’ online sales grew by 17.7%, to 11.1% of all sales, while textile, clothing and footwear stores saw 10.9% spent online, accounting for 12.8% of all retail sales.

Sales of food via ecommerce grew by 13.2%, accounting for 4.3% of all sales in the category.

Commenting on the figures, Keith Richardson, managing director retail sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The cooler than usual weather in September may have caused more people to shop online during September, with internet sales rising 4.5% on August, but it also helped persuade shoppers to stock up early on their winter wardrobe.

“Meanwhile, the persistently strong housing market continues to keep sales of furniture and other big ticket household items riding high.”

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