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Online fashion sales slow in June

Online clothing, footwear and accessories sales fell 1% in June, compared to May, but showed a 22% increase year-on-year.

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index, overall online sales fell 1.3% in June month-on-month, but rose 12.3% compared to June 2008. As a result of a slowing growth rate in the first half of 2009, the IMRG has lowered its forecasts for online retail growth for the second half of the year, down from 15% to 12%.

However, clothing has remained the jewel in the crown for online retailers and has consistently outperformed the market, with shoppers spending £2.1 billion online in the first half of 2009.

IMRG said that the standout performance of this sector is due to the advanced range of products on offer, improved visuals, more reliable, cost effective returns policies and a stronger link between high street and online offers. IMRG said: “over the history of the Index, clothing has been the flagship sector, inspiring other sectors to takes its lead”.

Online lingerie however continues to be a poor performer, showing double-digit monthly and yearly declines. Sales dropped 10% in June, compared to May, and fell 14% compared to June 2008.

IMRG director of information Tina Spooner said: “Price continues to be a major factor for consumers when shopping online, with recent research suggesting that 90% of UK households are adopting more prudent buying strategies to cope during the recession. It is clear there will be challenges ahead in the coming months for e-retailers as they prepare for the lucrative festive season.”

Capgemini UK head of consulting for retail Mike Petevinos added: “The online sales results for the first half of 2009 show a slightly slowing growth, as the recession weakens consumer spending on the web.”

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