KPMG optimistic that retailers will "enjoy a reasonably healthy Christmas"

Online non-food sales jump 15%

Online sales of non-food products in the UK – including PCs and tech – rose 15 per cent year-on-year in August representing a new high for 2013.

This increase is on a weighted basis, says British Retail Consortium, which also revealed that UK overall like-for-like retail sales rose 1.8 per cent during the month, according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.

Home categories were the best performers, including back to school products and items for the home.

This time last year, non-food non-store sales increased by 4.8 per cent over August 2011, the lowest online growth ever recorded.

Helen Dickinson, Director General at the British Retail Consortium, said: "While these figures don’t quite reach the lofty heights of what was an exceptional July, they’re keeping the good run going and are well above the 12-month average for sales growth.

"Non-food had an impressive month, as retailers answered the continuing cautious optimism with good ranges and appealing promotions, especially in their back to school offers and items for the home. The category’s performances both in-store and online measure up well against below par showings in August 2012, when shopping took second place to watching the Olympics for many of us."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, added: "This is a solid performance by retailers and demonstrates that confidence is slowly but surely returning to the UK’s High Streets. Such a retail revival is particularly welcome after the disappointing sales seen last summer, when sales of non-food items ground to a halt as people were distracted by the Olympic Games.

"As summer fades to a close and the all-important approach to Christmas begins, retailers are turning their attention to their festive campaigns. However, if sales continue in this vein we should be optimistic that retailers will enjoy a reasonably healthy Christmas."

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