Online sales of clothing recorded an increase of 22 percent year-on-year in February, the biggest growth since June 2013, according to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index.

Clothing outperformed overall online retail sales, which grew by 18 percent, representing 8.9 billion pounds spent during the month. However, the index did note that the increase was building on a disappointing February 2015 when growth was just 8 percent.

The clothing sub-sectors all enjoyed solid results, with the sale of menswear and accessories increasing by 31 percent and 35 percent, respectively, compared with the previous year.

The shift towards buying through a mobile device continued in February, with smartphones accounting for over a third, 34 percent of mobile commerce sales, up from 24 percent in the same month last year, revealing that smartphones have taken an additional 10 percent share of UK m-retail sales over the past year, IMRG stated.

IMRG chief information officer, Tina Spooner, added: “Following a strong performance in January, UK e-retail sales continued to accelerate last month, resulting in overall year-on-year growth of 16 percent, year-to-date. Although this is on the back of a relatively weak performance in Q1 2015, the latest results are impressive and are well ahead of our 11 percent growth forecast for 2016.”

Capgemini retail insight and data specialist Richard Tremellen said: “Despite overall retail sales in February being flat, online growth continues to be strong. This is particularly encouraging given average basket values were up some 11 percent year-on-year, indicating factors other than discounting are driving growth. The strong performance in clothing suggests retailer investments in breadth of range, flexible delivery and ease of returns may be paying off for this sector.”


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