Year-on-year growth of online clothing sales fell to 7.5% in July, down 4.3% on the five-year average, new figures show.
A study by Capgemini and IMRG predicted a particularly rough second half of the year for retailers, as consumer spending slumps in the weeks following England’s exit from the World Cup.
The clothing sector appeared to be the most affected, experiencing its lowest year-on-year growth (+7.5%) of the year, which was also below the 5-year average of 11.8% This incorporated the most significant decreases seen in footwear (-30.6% year on year) and accessories (-13.4% year on year) since 2013.
Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini, said: “A few factors contributed to the fall in online customer spending this month, but significantly last July saw a peak in conversion rate due to activity around Amazon Prime day – something that was not repeated this year.
“Combined with the decrease in overall site views and the highest increase in July basket value in over five years, it suggests that retailers have had to focus less on discounting and clearance; an effect of lower price-points throughout the year due to the competitive nature of the high street combined with good weather driving early summer spending.”
Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, said: “The British weather is often the cause of much misery or joy for British retail, and July was no different. The main beneficiary of the prolonged heatwave in July was the garden sector, with 22.4% year-on-year growth, which is in contrast with recent difficulties experienced by some on the high street.
”Shoppers keen to capitalise on the sunshine focused their attention on gardening products – which was also to the detriment of the home sector, which reported a year-on-year decrease of 5.8%. The positive weather, which started in May, has transformed the garden sector’s 2018 performance into an impressive 24.5% year-to-date growth.”