Mobile phone internet searches more than treble, boosting UK’s retail sector

Julian Harris
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SHOPPERS’ internet searches from mobile phones and tablets more than trebled in the second quarter of the year, as booming online sales offer some hope to the UK’s retail sector.

Mobile retail searches were up 216 per cent annualised, driving the total number of retail searches up by 27 per cent.

“Volumes were down in April as the warm weather and bank holidays took their toll, but picked up again in May with the return of cooler weather. However, mobile searches remained constant throughout the quarter,” explained Peter Fitzgerald from Google, which conducted the research alongside the British Retail Consortium.

Half of all internet searches for retail came from London and the south, according to figures for the three months to June.

And there were signs of a stronger summer in the capital from a separate report released today by the New West End Company.

High street sales in London’s west end rocketed by 11 per cent in June compared to a year earlier, according to the group.

The surprise result was “in stark contrast” to reports from across the UK as a whole, where retail sales sank 0.6 per cent last month.

A summer surge of around 600,000 tourists will further boost sales in London, the group said.