The pace of UK online sales gathered momentum in the four weeks to May, with 13.7% growth on last year, according to the British Retail Sales Consortium (BRC)-KPMG’s monthly monitor.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Retailers saw positive growth in all categories, while fashion sales throughout the month proved particularly popular with online shoppers. As contribution from stores was negative, online sales took more than their proportionate share of overall non-food growth. The online penetration rate reached the third highest ever recorded, after Black Friday in November and the January sales.
“Retailers are confidently using their online channels to drive overall growth of their omni-channel businesses. This is evidently where businesses need to direct investment to ensure they remain competitive and meet the demands of the increasingly digital savvy consumer.”
KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale added: “Online sales picked up in May with non-food growth increasing 13.7% compared to last year – more than double April growth figures. In particular, sales of toys and baby equipment surged during the month with the delayed warmer weather persuading consumers to entertain the kids with paddling pools and outdoor toys. Summery sunshine also encouraged shoppers into shorts and t-shirts as consumers took advantaged of deeper discounts and well-timed promotions to start the summer wardrobe refresh.
“Penetration rates continued to climb, making May the fifth consecutive month above 20%. With a possible heatwave on the horizon, a strong multichannel business will be key to ensuring retailers can weather all weathers.”