Online retail continued its run of exceptional form into September, albeit with signs of a very slight slowdown in the rate of growth. September reported the lowest Year-on-Year Growth since April at 42% – continuing the very gradual declining growth trend. September saw lockdown rules change, including an official ‘work from home’ encouragement by the Government and the definitive recognition of a second wave of the virus emerging in the UK.
Both of these events will likely have perpetuated shoppers choosing online over the high street as has been seen for many months. Albeit, there was speculation that pandemic restrictions could cause another surge of interest in online shopping whichhasn’t materialised, with a Month-on-Month growth of only 5.4%.
Retailers that occupy the ‘Premium’ and ‘Budget/Value’ end of the market have fared very well since March (+43% and +50% YTD respectively) whereas the ‘Mid-Market’ tier has fared less well with a Year-to-Date growth of 17%. However more recently, the Premium and Budget tiers have seen their performance lose momentum – The Premium group have fallen from a peak in July (+90% YoY) to 41% YoY in September and Budget retailers are collectively down from a June high of 84% to 61% in September.
It seems counterintuitive to be reporting a slow-down in market growth when the current month is posting incredibly healthy figures. Twelve months ago such growth would have been gladly welcomed, but it’s a sign of the current markets explosive growth that minor slow downs are newsworthy.
A notable addition to this months commentary goes to the Electricals sector, which reported triple digit year-on-year growth at 101.8%. the sector was boosted by the pre-order release of two new games consoles – the Xbox and Playstation 5. During the two weeks of those pre-orders, the sector reported a mighty 113% and 115% growth.
The IMRG Capgemini Sales Index does not include online grocery or ticketing and travel sales.