Online sales of underwear were lifted by Valentine’s Day shoppers in the UK during February, according to latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Total online clothing, footwear and accesories sales increased 17% during the month, with lingerie sales up 32% on February last year and footwear sales rising 47%, research found.

Chris Webster, vice president, retail consulting and technology, Capgemini, said: "It is reassuring to see that romance hasn’t been lost in the recession, and shoppers clearly haven’t lost the love for online retail.

"The growth of less traditional sectors in February paints an optimistic picture of consumers picking themselves up following the doom and gloom of the last couple of years. Despite online retail’s maturity, it is still showing strong growth levels of 13%."