UK e-commerce sales rose 18% year-over-year in February, equal to an estimated £7.2B spent online, reflecting ongoing consumer confidence in online retail sector; m-commerce yearly growth up 66%: IMRG

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Mar 18, 2014 – Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG)

LONDON , March 18, 2014 (press release) –

  • Online retail sales go from strength to strength; Index up 18% year-on-year
  • • Sales of Valentine’s Day lingerie and perfume boost Index
  • • Online-only retailers surge ahead of multichannel counterparts
Latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that despite a precipitous slowdown in high street sales in February, a result of the severe wet weather, e-retail recorded a solid performance with an 18% annual increase. Equating to an estimated £7.2 billion spent online, the Index reflects the ongoing consumer confidence in the wider online retail sector, with m-retail also reporting 66% year-on-year growth.

Valentine’s Day helped boost sales in the e-retail sectors traditionally associated with romantic presents. Lingerie recorded a year-on-year increase of 24%, whilst Health & Beauty, which includes perfume and cosmetics, reported 25% growth on the same time last year.

February also saw strong online sales in Home and Garden, which may be attributed to an increasingly healthy housing market. With home owners spending on new furniture and accessories, the sector reported a 26% increase on February 2013.

Online-only/catalogue retailers recorded an annual growth of 22% in February, the strongest year-on-year growth for three years and far exceeding their multichannel counterparts, which recorded growth of just 16%.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG: “Growth in the UK e-retail sector shows no sign of abating, with the Index performance coming in ahead of our expectations last month. In fact, looking at the combined results for January and February it is evident that we have seen the strongest start to the year since 2011.

“The exceptionally wet weather during February undoubtedly helped boost online sales as shoppers shunned the high street. It is interesting to see the pureplay merchants not only outperformed the multichannel retailers in terms of year-on-year e-retail growth, but also recorded a 6% annual rise in average transaction value. Conversely, the average online order value for the multichannel merchants remained unchanged from February last year.”

Chris Webster, VP, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini: “The continued growth of e-retail demonstrates the overall strength of consumer confidence and leads one to believe the disappointing February overall figures are most likely a result of the wet weather. Strong spending on home & garden and lingerie for Valentine’s Day also show people investing in homes and relationships further increasing the feel good factor.

“As a small aside, it is would be nice to know if the strong increase in footwear year-on-year was caused by a surge in demand for wellies and waders; unfortunately, there are some things our e-Retail Index cannot tell.”
About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’

The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks 'online sales', which we define as 'transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels' from any location, including in-store.
About IMRG

IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit or email
About Capgemini

With more than 130,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2013 global revenues of EUR 10.1 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

Learn more about us at

Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini

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