Online clothing sales increased 9.1% year on year in August, “one of the few bright spots for retailers”, new data has shown.
The latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index shows menswear had a particularly strong month, as sales jumped by 21.9% year on year. Footwear sales grew by 7.3% compared with 2018.
Meanwhile, total online retail sales had “low” growth of just 3% year on year last month. Although it is typical for sales to slow at the end of summer, August’s result falls well below the five-year average of 9.6%.
“Growth for online sales in 2019 has been well below expectations this year, but there was some hope that it would balance out, as 2018 was a year of two distinct halves – the first half was very strong, the second half far less so”, Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG, said.
“It was as we entered the third-quarter last year that growth started to fall away, so this should be the point at which growth rates edge up again as they are against lower rates from last year. That has not happened.
“It’s not universal bad news – some categories are doing quite well still, but in general retailers are having to work hard to drive sales activity. The average spend is down by around one-third, quite likely due to discounting, and the higher-spend categories of electricals and home & garden are both in negative territory. It’s difficult to see anything terribly positive on the horizon as we move toward the crucial peak trading period. It could be a very tough one this year.”