Online sales were the stand out performer in September, growing by double digits, and contributing strongly to non-food sales such as electricals and leisure items.
That is the verdict of the first new Online Retail Sales Monitor, collected and collated by KPMG for the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The data reveals that online sales of non-food products grew 13.4% in September versus a year earlier. Over the past three months, online contributed a third of the total non-food retail growth.
BRC Director General Helen Dickinson said: “This is a fascinating month to analyse online data for the first time, because it shows that one third of non-food sales growth comes from online purchases, and that without the growth we have seen in online sales, we would actually have recorded declines in sales of clothing and footwear this month.
“The online penetration rate, or share of the market, reached a record level in September. To succeed today, retailers are investing not only in an outstanding product offering but also in ever-evolving ways to reach customers in the online world.”
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Online sales continued to soar in September and achieved another month of double digit growth. Electricals and ‘back to college’ items helped to drive growth, but unseasonably warm weather also prompted consumers to browse online for the lighter-weight pieces of clothing, checking the latest trends of the season and making full use of the ever-increasing click-and-collect options. This demonstrates the vital role online can play for retailers during the transition between seasons.
“Retailers have also invested significantly to ensure their omni-channel processes can meet consumer demand and this is reflected in the penetration levels, which have now reached their highest level seen so far this year.”