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Online growth slows to lowest level in three years

Online retail sales growth slumped to its lowest level in three years last month, as high street sales remained flat.

Online sales rose by just 6.6% in April compared with the previous year, down from the 8.9% average across the three months from February to April, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG Retail Sales Monitor have reported.

Online sales now account for 20.9% of non-food sales, it said.

“With consumers no longer thinking in channels, physical stores can continue to contribute to the success of a retailer’s online offer and vice versa,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC.

“It’s therefore critical for retailers to finesse their offer from clicks to bricks and for policy makers to ensure regulations for consumer protection and retailers alike are consistent and channel agnostic.”

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, added:With unseasonably cold weather delaying the sales of spring ranges in the month, consumers chose to spruce up well-worn winter warmers with jewellery and accessories from the comfort of the living room rather than hitting the high street for new outfits.

“Looking ahead, retailers may well need to bolster online offerings as warmer temperatures start to tempt consumers back into the shops.”

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