Marvellous May for online retail sector, IMRG
May was a scorcher of a month for UK online retailers, with sales up 19.4% year-on-year, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Fuelled by warm temperatures, a royal wedding, the FA Cup Final and two bank holidays, this was the highest YoY increase for May since 2010 and the strongest month overall since November 2016.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that shoppers are favouring online channels over physical ones to a greater degree than they used to, which is accelerating the pace of change for multi-channel retailers,” says Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG.
“There is nothing new in online taking a greater share of sales of course, the question is what happens to physical retail. Traditional shops won’t vanish entirely – there will always be some level of demand for them – but how High Streets and other retail spaces evolve more generally in response to lower shopper interest is a matter for some debate. Many speak about focusing on in-store ‘experience’ but in many cases the solutions don’t seem to be very different from what was there before. It seems likely that retail is in for a rocky period of readjustment, that might take several years, before blueprints for a successful physical retail space become more apparent.”