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Online sales up 14% in August

Online sales were up 14% to £5.3bn in August as fashion drove sales.

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, back-to-school helped drive clothing sales, which were up 22% in August.

Compared with July however, overall  etail sales dropped 6%, although the report said this is a seasonal trend. In previous years, August etail sales have declined more sharply, month-on-month. During the same period in 2010 and 2009, sales fell by 8% and 10% respectively.

The last two weeks in August saw an improvement, boosted by autumn clothing, footwear and accessories. Shoppers also took advantage of summer Sales.

Home and garden also reported strong year-on-year growth. The report said this suggests that, rather than purchasing expensive holidays, Brits stayed at home this summer and invested in doing up the home.

The report found that the riots “did not seem to have had a significant impact on e-retail sales”. The report said: “It appears the riots were not widespread or prolonged enough to have an effect.”

Capgemini head of retail consulting and technology Chris Webster said: “August is a tough month for e-retail but this year saw a smaller decline thanks to the solid figures for retailers selling both online and in store. However, it’s worth noting that with such a strong performance during the first half of 2011, it’s a big ask for e-retail sales to maintain such rapid growth.”

IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said: “Fashion-conscious consumers are one of the key growth drivers in the UK e-retail sector, with clothing sales continuing to outperform the total online retail market.”

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