Online retail spending in the UK continued to rise during January, with the clothing, footwear and accessories sector out-performing the overall market.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, spending in January was up 19% on last year, compared to the 15% growth figure seen during the second half of 2008.

Monthly growth in online spending fell for the second month in a row, but the survey said this was in line with the traditional dip in spending after Christmas.

Online sales of clothing, footwear and accessories were up 32% on last year, continuing the sector's trend of consistently out-performing the market during 2008.

The sector also recorded the smallest fall in growth compared to December.

"The strong performance of online points to a continued need to invest in the development of [retailers'] e-commerce propositions," said Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail for Capgemini UK.

"The question is whether bricks and clicks retailers can prioritise this sufficiently above the defensive strategies needed to combat tough high street trading.

"If not, the risk of widening the gap versus their pure play rivals will be inevitable."