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Online clothing sales growth slows

The growth in online clothing sales reduced to its slowest rate since December 2012 in September, after the unseasonably warm weather hindered sales of autumn and winter wear.

Footwear was also affected by the atypically warm weather and was the worst performing online category in September, according to the BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor. The research did not provide specific figures for clothing and footwear sales growth.

Overall, online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 8.2% in September compared to a year earlier; the lowest growth since July 2013.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, said: “For the first time clothing and footwear contributed to an overall decline [in the rate of growth] of the non-food category sales online. There was still growth of online sales at 8.2% year on year, but the rate of growth was notably slowed compared to August 2014 when it was 19.5%.

“Online sales continued to represent an increased proportion of UK non-food sales, at 17.5%, up 1.3 percentage point from last year. For the first time, the growth of total UK non-food sales over the last three months has owed more to the online purchases than in store buying. This promises another record Christmas to come for online sales.”

KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale added: “We have seen heavy investment from retailers in their online systems this month as many have spent the summer testing and refining their online operations ready for the all-important run up to Christmas. As the orders begin rolling in, these investments will quickly pay dividends.”

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