The mail order industry enjoyed year-on-year growth in the run-up to Christmas last year, despite negative growth in the economy in Q4.
New research by transactional data specialist Abacus shows that the total spend on mail order in the months leading to the Christmas season increased by 17.4%, with the three main categories of home interiors, clothing and gifts and entertainment all recording positive growth over the same period in 2009.
Spend in the home interiors category increased by a significant 22.5%, clothing by 20.4% and gifts & entertainment by 4.1%.
However, average order values were down slightly, by 3%, showing that there were more people purchasing less through direct mail.
Abacus country director Matthew Pepper said: “2010 showed strong signs of a long-term economic recovery, and the Pre Christmas Trends Report confirms that innovative retailers are leading the charge.
“But declining average order values mean that you can’t rely on active customers alone to drive sales. You must spread the net wider by reactivating lapsed customers and recruiting new ones.”
Abacus’ annual Pre Christmas Trends Report is created by analysing data from the Abacus cooperative database of over 700 members, representing £20bn of transactions.