Online retail sales suffer dip in June

Online sales experienced a sluggish end to the first half of the year, according to new research released today, with June seeing the lowest annual growth recorded since July 2013 and the steepest month-on-month drop in trading for six years.

E-tail trade body IMRG and professional services firm Capgemini's e-Retail Sales Index shows that June's online retail sales were up 9% year on year, but down 5% on May – with the England football team's poor World Cup said to have had an impact on trading activity.

The overall performance in the first half of the year has been positive, with online sales up 16% year on year, but the index suggested that England's exit from the first round of the tournament meant there was less demand from consumers for beers, wines and spirits, and electrical items.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, commented: "Football fans clearly stocked up their fridges in anticipation for the World Cup, as the beers, wines and spirits sector surged 20% year-on-year last month, and the 17% growth we saw from May to June was the steepest jump between those months we have ever seen in this sector.

"But during the week England were knocked out we saw a distinct 15% drop in alcohol sales as fans were denied the chance to raise a glass to a repeat of 1966."

Last week saw high street stalwart Marks & Spencer report flat first quarter sales, with the company also saying that online trading was down by 8.1% year on year as customers came to terms with its recently-launched new eCommerce site. The figures from IMRG and Capgemini, released today, would suggest that it was not just M&S that has struggled to attract online sales at the start of the summer.

Spooner added: "It's fair to say June was not a good month for British sport and the poor performance in the electricals sector – with growth of just 7% year-on-year – suggests Britons were not too interested in buying new technology to watch the action, whilst higher than average temperatures and lots of sunshine kept customers outdoors."

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