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Fashion is fastest growing online category

Fashion sales online are growing at a faster pace than any other retail category according to the latest report from Hitwise.

The Hitwise study, which compared the 100 largest multi-channel retailers in the UK, such as Argos, Next, and Marks & Spencer, with the 100 largest pureplay retailers, such as Amazon, and Asos, showed that multi-channel retailers received 19.3% more UK hits in July.

The report also said that during the last 12 months, fashion had been the fastest growing area of online retail in the UK. In July, online visits to Hitwise's apparel and accessories category accounted for one in every 10 visits to online retail websites, with the sector having experienced an annual growth rate of 34.2% since July last year.

Online fashion sales in the UK are dominated by the big high street brands, such as Next, Topshop and River Island, which accounted for seven of the top 10 websites by traffic in the apparel and accessories category during June.

The Hitwise report shows that multi-channel fashion chains are still winning more online traffic than their pureplay counterparts.

Robin Goad, research director for Hitwise UK, said: "The growth of the online fashion industry has been one of the main contributors to the increasing market share of high street retailers online. Given the 2.6% year-on-year decline in actual physical visits to retailers reported by Experian Footfall for July, it looks like high street retailers will be more reliant than ever on their online operations this Christmas."

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