Online retailers see summer sales surge
ONLINE sales are up by almost a fifth on this time last year as a stronger-than-expected 2016 continues for internet retailers, figures show.
However, heavy discounting throughout July could have contributed to the figures, with the average basket value falling from £80.52 in June to £78.39 a month later, according to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index.
Online sales were up 19% year on year in July, the highest yearly growth rate since November 2014 when Black Friday caused the index to surge.
The warmer-than-average July saw shoppers update their wardrobes as the overall clothing sector saw a 22% increase in sales.
The home sector was up 50% year on year, while garden-related sales were up 39%.
The only sector to record a drop was beers, wines and spirits, which fell by a marginal 1%.
Capgemini spokesman Bhavesh Unadkat said: "It's great to see that the index registered such a strong July performance - the biggest growth since November 2014.
"Indeed, many of these retailers had reactive plans in place to match the discounts offered by Amazon Prime Day, which goes some way to explaining the drop in basket value. These low prices spurred high-volume sales which ensured double-digit growth.
"Finally, the figures were also bolstered by an encouraging economic position which increased consumer confidence alongside, of course, some great weather."
However, Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, warned that the year was "proving a tough one to predict - particularly given the referendum result and the fact we have yet to record any significant impact from it in the Index so far, while some other economic indicators have already revealed some degree of impact".