Internet Retail Growing Fast

Online shopping now accounts for 10.5 per cent of all retail sales in the UK, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Official retail figures for November show internet sales at an all-time high - at £660 million a week out of total weekly retail sales of £6.3bn, excluding fuel - representing a 2.6 percentage point rise year on year.

Internet sales rose 37.5 per cent from October to November, with all retailing growing by just 10.2 per cent. The figures show that internet retailing is growing at 3.5 times the rate of the whole sector month to month.

The annual statistics are even more stark. Compared to the same time last year, internet sales grew by 36.6 per cent compared to an all retail increase of just 3.6 per cent.

Overall, the volume of retail trade grew modestly - by just 1.1 per cent compared to November 2009 - but the value of items grew by 3.6 per cent compared to the same period last year - the strongest growth since April.

Analysts have highlighted the fact that the ONS figures do not give a weekly breakdown and therefore the effects of November's cold weather can't yet be considered. But they also warn the cold spell forecast for the end of this week will be damaging for retailers in the run up to Christmas.

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