Online sales grow ahead of forecasts

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Online retail sales were up 19 per cent in the first half of 2011, according to IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

UK shoppers spent £31.5 billion online – ahead of forecasts at start of the year.

This was put down to a number of factors: a struggling economy and high-street has driven shoppers online for better deals; a scorching April saw shoppers jump online early to add to their summer wardrobes, while summer downpours increased the appeal of in-doors shopping; and the Royal Wedding encouraged Brits to get into the party spirit with massive alcohol spend online.

David Smith of IMRG said: “Many were predicting a tough year for retail in 2011 and in the high street that has proved to be the case, but the online market has actually grown by 19 per cent over the first half of the year. This figure is currently 1 per cent ahead of our prediction for the year, so a really positive start overall.”

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