Black Friday casts shadow over October e-tail sales

The expectation of Black Friday has caused customers to withhold for shopping online in October, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

The latest figures stated October witnessed its lowest year-on-year growth since the index launched 15 years ago, up only 8.9%.

While October is the month retailers enter their peak trading period, it is suggested customers are holding off from shopping due to impending Black Friday discounts.

Garden and electrical online sales reported negative growth in October, while the average electricals basket value was down a full 12% on October 2014.

The Index also suggested that clothing sales growth had been impacted by the mild weather in October.

But accessories, footwear and lingerie reported annual increases of 24%, 23% and 19% respectively.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: "The ‘pre-peak lag’, where shoppers hold off from making purchases in expectation of bagging a discount over the Black Friday peak, may have started far earlier than last year – as October 2015 growth was significantly down on October 2014. Interestingly though the sectors that typically stock lower-cost items – including accessories, lingerie, footwear, health & beauty and gifts – continue to perform strongly, while some sectors stocking higher-cost items (electricals and garden) recorded negative growth in October."

The Index also reported that pure-play retailers saw a sales increase of 18%, while multichannel retailers only recorded a 4% rise. 

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