E-tail sales up to record level

Strong growth in e-tail sales was reported again in May, with the IMRG e-Retail Sales Index leaping almost ten per cent.

At 531, the index now stands even higher than its previous peak of 526, reached in December 2001. The May figure is based on a participants’ sample which topped &£100m for the first time. Total UK online sales for the month are estimated to have been worth &£507m.

Defying the wet weather, which badly hit sales of women’s clothing and barbecue fare, May’s year-on-year growth was 92.2 per cent.

Figleaves.com finance director Howard Bryan says of the clothing company’s May sales: “This represents a 13 per cent increase in sales over April and 130 per cent increase from the same period last year. We see an increasingly symbiotic relationship between our online and off-line customer proposition.”

Figures from the US Census Bureau show that year-on-year growth for US e-tail was 19.3 per cent for the first quarter of 2002, representing 1.3 per cent of all retail. By comparison, UK growth of 53.7 per cent for the same period looks impressive, representing 2.45 per cent of all UK retail.

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