French online sales of textiles totalled EUR1.6m for the year to June 2009, an increase of 20.5% on the previous 12-month period.

According to a report by the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM), the trend is set to continue with the expected arrival of major French brands on the Internet who already boast a 'physical' network of stores. 

Within the textiles category, the most popular products sold on the Internet are babies' bodysuits (7.7% of spending) and children's wear (7.1%), the report reveals.

Men in the 25-34 age bracket are the most active on-line buyers accounting for one-third of Web-based clothing purchases.

The online market was strongest from October to March and not during sales periods. While there is a tendency for women to pay around 6% less than the average market price when they shop online for garments, men, who are mainly looking for leading brands, are likely to spend 3% more.   

In value terms, online purchases represented 5.6% of total clothing sales in the first half of 2009 - compared to 4.5% a year earlier.