View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Dashboards
  2. Filings
June 13, 2022

Clothing remains bright spot as UK online retail growth freefalls

UK online clothing retailers bucked the trend in May, with sales rising by 14% during the month compared to the same period last year, as online retail sales growth fell by more than 8% overall.

By Beth Wright

Online retail sales growth fell by 8.7% year-on-year (YoY) in May, despite being measured against a negative performance in the same month last year (-6%), as trading conditions continue to be tough. May’s results also represented a 0.6% dip month-on-month (MoM) against April, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks online sales for 200 retailers.

Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

Breaking the month down, there was some variation in performance by week, with week one recording the lowest growth at -10.9% YoY, whilst week three was almost positive at -0.3% YoY. This may have been a Jubilee boost – with people purchasing patriotic clothing and other items in advance of the bank holiday – without that, performance might have been even worse.

At a category level, the majority tracked in the Index reported negative growth, again often against negative figures for the same period last year. Among those, the categories seeing the worst performance were health and beauty (-28%) and home and garden (-23%). On a better note, clothing continues to see strong performance – with sales rising by 14% overall; 18% for womenswear, and 12% for menswear.

“There’s no dressing it up, May’s performance was pretty awful online. April’s results suggested growth might be flat, but it is clear now that the economic situation is having a deep impact on demand; if it wasn’t for the Jubilee, which produced a slightly better week than the others, the decline might have been double-digit against negative growth for the same month last year. The one bright area is clothing, where growth was strong this month against +13.5% in May 2021. It seems to be a category making up for lost time, following almost flat growth in 2020; could be that it is now simply benefiting from the increased number of people shopping online, combined with a general sense among the UK public that the pandemic is over and they can go out as they please again,” says Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG.

Despite widespread discounting, the Average Basket Value (ABV) has actually been rising notably since January, reaching a new all-time high of GBP151 (US$184). This is likely due to a number of factors including inflation, customers ordering multiple items at once in order to avoid repeat delivery fees, and a general preference for higher quality items to avoid having to buy again in the near future. Website traffic was also up 8% YoY, though retailers are reporting lengthy purchase cycles as consumers sit in the consideration stage for longer.

Last month, the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index revealed online retail sales fell by 12% YoY in April while inflation continued to rise and consumers prioritised wallet spend on apparel, with clothing sales up 4.2% against a tough comparative.

Related Companies

Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

Topics in this article:
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every quarter.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Just Style