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Online BWS sales soar 52%

Published:  14 July, 2021

Online beer, wine and spirits (BWS) sales soared the week commencing 27 June as England prepared to play Germany for a place in Euro 2020.

During the week, online alcohol sales surged 52% compared to the same week last year, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

For the full month of June, almost all categories reported negative growth, with alcohol just one of three to show growth, up 20.9%.  

“While many sectors experienced a huge decline in the rate of year on year growth since the beginning of April due largely to high 2020 comparisons, the BWS industry has continued to show an upward trajectory," said Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG. 

“BWS was always one of the categories most likely to benefit from England doing well at the Euros and it’s been very strong since the tournament started,” he added.

Overall online retail sales fell 14.1% year on year in June – the steepest drop in the history of the Index for the second month running, with performance during the month well below the three-month, six-month and 12-month rolling averages of -4.54%, +26.2% and +35.5% respectively. 

This comes as spend continues to be compared to exceptionally high growth in 2020, but lockdown easing and the high street reopening are also contributing factors.

The steep fall in June is a strong indication that consumer confidence is growing to get back out on the high-street as lockdown eases and the vaccine rollout continues,” said Chris Long, director, Retail Consulting, Capgemini. 

“We can expect this shift in spend between online and the high-street to continue, with retailers grappling demand swings and stock challenges across channels to ensure availability for consumers as their shopping habits change.

“Looking ahead it’s going to be interesting to see how the 19 July Freedom Day impacts online spend, although most restrictions will be eased for the high-street there is a potential for an increase in self-isolation numbers from track & trace, which could slow the decline in online demand as many rely on home delivery.”