Online retailers post sluggish February sales

Kasmira Jefford
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ONLINE retailers posted sluggish growth in February as the Christmas shopping spree continued to weigh on consumers, according to the latest monthly figures from industry analysts IMRG and Capgemini.

Sales slumped by 12 per cent in February compared with the previous month, which in turn was down seven per cent on December, the IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index out yesterday showed.

Shoppers spent just six per cent more in February than 12 months ago, when sales jumped 18 per cent.

The clothing sector was the worst performer, with sales up four per cent year-on-year, compared with 20 per cent last year. However, other sectors performed more strongly, with gifts up 28 per cent thanks to Valentine’s Day and lingerie, health & beauty enjoying a 19 per cent rise.

The alcohol sector also enjoyed strong growth following the end of “Dry January”, with online sales surging 42 per cent – the highest annual increase recorded for this sector since April 2011.

IMRG’s Tina Spooner said online players with a high street presence performed better than online-only retailers, with sales up eight per cent and two per cent respectively.