Online spending hits £1bn a week: ONS

Shoppers spent an estimated £1 billion a week online with UK retailers during February, according to official figures out this week.

That’s 20.7 per cent up on the same month last year, and 3.3 per cent up on the previous month of January, and accounted for 15.3 per cent of all retail spending.

Ecommerce growth was well ahead of retail sales growth, according to the Office for National Statistics’ Retail Sales report for February. It estimated that sales, excluding petrol, rose by 5.1 per cent on last February, and by 1.7 per cent on last month.

Kate Davies, ONS senior statistician, said, “February’s retail sales figures show fairly strong growth, though the underlying three-month picture shows falling sales as February’s figures follow two consecutive months of decline in December and January. The monthly growth in February is seen across all store types. The underlying trend suggests that rising petrol prices in particular have had a negative effect on the overall quantity of goods bought over the last three months.”

Online food sales grew by 14 per cent to account for 4.9 per cent of all sales in the category. Fast online growth was also seen at household goods stores, where internet spending grew by 23.1 per cent to account for 10.5 per cent of all retail sales. Department stores saw online growth of 10.4 per cent, to account 13.7 per cent of all sales, while textile, clothing and footwear stores saw sales grow by 12.5 per cent to account for 14.5 per cent of all spending.