Online shopping growth slips back in January

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Online retail sales rose by five per cent on a like-for-like January 2009 to January 2010, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index – the lowest annual growth rate in the history of the Index.

UK shoppers spending £4.3 billion online in the month. The figures reflect the fact that sales were strong in December 2009 resulting in weaker annual growth for January.

Monthly growth fell by 22 per cent from December 2009 to January 2010. This is in line with the usual seasonal trend of sales falling after the Christmas surge, but the decline is greater than in recent years.

Chris Webster, Vice president, retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said: “While annual growth for e-retail was slow in January, we should factor in the fact that December was a very strong month for the industry. Last January, e-retailers’ sales were buoyed up by heavy discounting and promotions that were necessary to sell stock left over from poor Christmas trading resulting from the impact of the recent move into recession”.

And Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG, said: “December 26th and 27th saw the highest sales for all of 2009. Less retailer discounting due to well planned stock levels and the increase in VAT equally appear to have had an impact on the online retail sector during January.”

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