Feb 9, 2021
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January online sales accelerate, clothing up 20%+

Feb 9, 2021

Online sales reached record levels in January with a huge 74% increase year-on-year, which is the highest rate since fast growth started with the onset of lockdowns in March last year. 


Growth in sales was reflected across all categories with some rising by 100% or more. Fashion didn't achieve anywhere near those lofty heights, but clothing sales still managed to grow 22% online last month – the highest growth since 2017.

That's according to the latest monthly report from IMRG-Capgemini, which said that the first month of the year is usually a subdued one for online retail sales. But this time, as well as the increase compared to January 2020, the figures were also 10 times higher than those recorded in January 2019.

They were also well above the three, six and 12-month averages that were all up between 41% and 47%.

And it's interesting that while multichannel retailers continued to perform the best as consumers bought from the webstores of retailers that they usually patronised I person, pureplay retailers also did well this time. Multichannel retailers grew 99.8% online year-on-year and pureplays were up 31.2%. 

Importantly too, mobile commerce sales were 169.1% higher, which is particularly noteworthy given that consumers weren't out and about as they might have been in more normal circumstances. M-commerce is usually driven by consumers being away from home and shopping, for instance, while commuting or ‘show rooming’ in physical stores. The latest lockdown might therefore have been expected to have dented m-commerce.

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant - Retail Insight, at Capgemini said: “January typically sees more subdued sales and a drop off from Christmas trading, however the anticipation of a ‘return to normal’ met the reality of challenges in an ever-evolving pandemic and customers once again turned to online shopping during the third national lockdown”.

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