Online sales forecast cut

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The forecast for retail growth has been cut from 15 per cent to 12 per cent for the second half of the year by IMRG Capgemini which produces the e-Retail Sales Index.

Latest figures show that UK shoppers spent £22.9 billion online in the first six months of 2009. Online spending has proven to be more resilient than spending on the high street, with year on year sales for the month of June rising by 12.3 per cent.

However, the Index reveals that there is a slowing rate of growth as sales in June fell by 1.3 per cent compared to May.

Although the predicted slower rate of growth in the second half of 2009 is in line with the longer term historical trend, IMRG said this should not mask the fact that online continues to be the driver of growth in the retail sector.

“For only one month in the first half of 2009 has there been positive year on year growth in high street sales – compared to an average of 14 per cent year on year growth in the IMRG Capgemini E-Retail Sales Index.”

Tina Spooner of IMRG said: “Price continues to be a major factor for consumers when shopping online, with recent research suggesting that 90 per cent of UK households are adopting more prudent buying strategies to cope during the recession. It is clear there will be challenges ahead in the coming months for e-retailers as they prepare for the lucrative festive season.”

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