Summer boost as UK online retailers bounce back from miserable May
UK online retail sales rose by 8.5% year-on-year in June, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index.
After a disappointing May, which saw sales suffer their worst growth on record (+1.9%), June represented the strongest performance so far this year as excellent weather and the start of the sale season signalled the arrival of summer.
“The trading environment for online retail in the first half of the year has been tough; for the previous three months (March-May), growth was just +2.2%. June then can be interpreted as a bounce back, particularly given it was building on strong growth of +16.1% in June 2018,” says Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG.
He cautions, however, that discounting has been heavy so the margins achieved may not be high. “Online clothing sales were up 15.7%, but the average basket value for clothing was down 25%. That doesn’t suggest shopper confidence is very high.”
“It is the summer sales period now, so end-of-season sales campaigns are in full swing. The key now for retailers is whether they can come out of discounting and maintain a reasonable level of sales growth before we get too close to the Black Friday period. Otherwise we may be in for another difficult peak where the rates of discount are wider and deeper than many retailers would like,” Mulcahy concludes.