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Friday 19 July 2019


Online sales up again in October: ONS

Written by Peter Walker

Online sales as a total of all retailing increased to 18 per cent in October, from the 17.7 per cent reported in September, with textile, clothing and footwear stores continuing a record proportion of online sales at 18.2 per cent despite a fall in total retail spending in this sector.

The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) latest figures also showed that online sales increased by 12.6 per cent year-on-year, with all sectors except food showing strong growth. Household goods stores reported the largest year-on-year growth of 26.5 per cent.

Computers and telecommunications stores reported strong growth, with feedback from retailers attributing this to the release of new smartphone handsets.

During the the three months to October, the quantity of overall retail sales increased by 0.4 per cent when compared with the previous three months. This was a slowdown to growth when compared with the strong summer sales, which reached a high of 2.3 per cent in the three months to July.

The quantity bought fell by 0.5 per cent when compared with September, with a strong decline of three per cent in household goods stores, following a particularly strong August and September.

Mylo Portas, retail lead for artificial intelligence data firm Peak, noted that while the ONS retail figures for October reported a monthly drop, the year-on-year the sector is growing.

“That’s because the UK retail market is evolving, with e-commerce driving growth. We can see that the retail sector is increasing four per cent year-on-year, which doesn’t show a sector in trouble.”

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