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UK’s online retail market passes £300bn milestone

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More than £300bn has been spent online in the UK since 2000, the IMRG said today.

The milestone has been passed 11 years after the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index launched in April 2000. At the time of its launch, the Index, which uses real sales data from retailers, estimated the UK’s e-retail market was worth £0.8bn a year. Last year its worth was put a £58.8bn, representing growth of 6,600%. IMRG, the trade association for ecommerce businesses, forecasts £69bn will be spent online in the UK in 2011 and predicts the market’s value will double in the next four years.

James Roper, chief executive of the IMRG, said: “An estimated £300bn has been spent online in the UK during the 11 years that our Index has been tracking the e-retail market, and with around £70bn estimated to be spent this year, we expect that figure to easily double within four years.”

The star sectors over the last 11 years, said IMRG, were clothing and electricals. Since the clothing sector launched in February 2001, it has grown by 3,245%, IMRG said. Meanwhile the electricals sector has grown by 996% since February 2002. Recent fast-growing sectors have included beer, wine and spirits. Since February 2002 it has grown by 825%, with seasonal spikes in November and December.

Roper said there would be further growth to come, despite the economy’s performance. “With 80% of the UK population now online and Government plans to extend the speed and geographical reach of broadband services, we anticipate a continued acceleration of growth irrespective of the economic situation as a whole,” he said.

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