Online sales grew by 8.9 per cent in March, while overall retail spending fell: ONS

Online sales grew by almost 9 per cent in March, even as overall retail spending fell in value, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reported this week.

For while ecommerce transactions grew by 8.9 per cent, compared with the same month a year earlier, the amount spent in the overall UK retail industry fell by 0.1 per cent on a year earlier, and by 1.3 per cent compared with February 2016..

Continuing a sustained period of year-on-year growth, the volume of retail sales in March 2016 was estimated to have increased by 2.7 per cent compared with March 2015. This was the 35th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. Although, compared with February 2016, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have decreased by 1.3 per cent

Shoppers spent £859.6 million a week online, 13.2 per cent of the £6.8 billion spent on average each week in March 2016. Over the month as a whole, £34.2 billion changed hands in the industry.

Household goods stores collectively enjoyed an ecommerce lift of 37.1 per cent on the same month last year, and online sales accounted for 8.8 per cent of sales in the sector. Department stores followed with a 21.1 per cent ecommerce boost, to account for 12.4 per cent of sales in the sector. Online food sales grew by 5.8 per cent to account for 4.4 per cent of sales in the sector. Meanwhile, textile, clothing and footwear sales fell by 6.2 per cent, accounting for 11.5 per cent of the sector total.