Fashion shines despite worst growth for UK online sales in January

The UK e-retail market saw the lowest ever online growth rate in its 22 years of tracking in January 2022, but at category level fashion showed positive results with women’s clothing up 25.2%, men’s clothing up 16.0% and footwear up 19.4%.

According to the latest figures from IMRG Capgemini, overall growth of -24.4% year-on-year would fall well below the three-, six- and 12-month averages of -16.4%, -13.7% and -2. .8% respectively. Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

Last month, the index revealed that 2021 ended with +2.7% market growth, the lowest annual growth rate ever. January 2022 therefore continued this trend with retailers competing with a high growth rate of +61.8% in January 2021. online channels to experience a significant boom, as in January 2022 shoppers could choose between shopping online or in-store.

The average basket value increased in January 2022 to £115 (USD 155.84), from £106 in December 2021. Analysts from IMRG and Capgemini point out that in the first half of 2021 the average basket value increased seen huge increases, but it had been falling since August, so January 2022 is the first month it started to go up again. Average spend has also increased by more than £20 compared to January 2021.

IMRG Chief Strategy and Information Officer Andy Mulcahy explains: “The first quarter of 2021 was marked by a severe lockdown which drove huge online growth so year-on-year comparisons others for the first months of 2022 are going to be harshly negative as a result. . This can make online sales appear to be plummeting, when it’s really just a natural rationalization of the 50-60% increases we saw at this time last year. .

Lucy Gibbs, Capgemini senior manager and head of retail for analytics and AI, adds that January was a mixed story for retail.

She says: “Our online index reported the largest year-over-year sales decline ever, and the high street claimed the opposite. This is due to the now familiar Yin Yang effect on annual revenue from last year’s lockdown store closures. Coming out of the pandemic, annual results will begin to normalize and 2022 will hopefully bring a much more stable trading period, but the outlook still remains uncertain as we realize the fall in economic and logistical challenges of the past two years.

Gibbs also points out that the decline in orders this month outpaces revenue, with the average basket value up 24%. She suggests this could be an early indicator of a price increase, reflecting continued supply chain disruption and underlying cost issues.

She says: “The Major Buys Index also fell four points (GSK) in January, as economic pressures add to consumer concerns. Capturing a share of the wallet amid rising bills and pent-up demand for travel, events and restaurants will continue to be the focus as we navigate 2022.”

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David A. Albanese