Online bolsters UK fashion sales in July
Clothing was the largest contributor to online growth in July
UK clothing and footwear sales continued to grow in July, as warmer weather and promotions helped drive demand for summer ranges, particularly online.
UK retail sales rose 2.2% in July, compared to the same month last year, when they were up 1.3%, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail/Online Sales Monitor report. On a like-for-like basis, sales climbed 1.2% from last year, when they fell 0.3%.
Clothing sales also grew as consumers reacted well to promotions. Men’s and children’s apparel saw the highest levels of growth as sell through of marked-down items was strong. Full-priced items also held up well, suggesting growth was not at the expense of margin.
Footwear performed strongly in July, becoming the third fastest growing category. Women’s footwear was the fastest growing across all categories, but was up against soft comparisons last year.
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "Heading into the start of school summer holidays, sales of children’s footwear and fashion were given a boost as families kitted out the kids ready for the beach.
"And while women’s fashion had a surprisingly weaker month in July, sales of accessories soared as ladies looked to update existing wardrobe staples with new bags and shoes."
Online sales of non-food products grew 14.7% in July versus a year earlier, when they increased 14.9%. Clothing was the largest contributor to growth for the second consecutive month.
BRC said warmer weather combined with many retailers' delayed end-of-season sales rolling into July stimulated demand for summer ranges. Men’s and children’s were the best performing segments online.
Online footwear sales peaked in July to achieve their fastest growth since records began in December 2012. Despite strong growth in the men’s and children’s segments, women's underperformed online, possibly reflecting the consumers’ preference for in-store services when having their children fitted for back-to-school shoes.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson added: "In combination with a strong high street proposition, online is an enabler of sales growth across any number of channels which can include click-and-collect, reserving goods and mobile commerce for many retailers."
"Retailers can use the online data of customer purchases to deliver a more personalised experience for people who come to the collection points, converting click and collect footfall into even more sales in store."
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