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Online BWS sales buck downward trend

Published:  08 September, 2021

New data has revealed that turnover from UK online retail slumped in the month of August, with three notable exceptions.

One of those was a dramatic surge in the consumption of beers, wines and spirits (BWS). That's according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers. 

By way of comparison, total online retail sales fell by 9.3% yoy last month. In addition, August’s performance was still well below the 6- (+2.25%) and 12-month (+21.37%) averages.

However, online sales of the BWS category rose by 26.8% yoy in August, suggesting that a growing firmament of consumers are eschewing physical retail for digital channels.

Sales of garden furniture and clothing have also risen in 2021.

Other notable spending trends in August include the Average Basket Volume (ABV) reaching its highest average for 2021 at £149. According to Capgemini, this was mainly driven by sales in home & garden and electrical items, perhaps due to customers switching their cancelled holiday spend for consumer goods.

“Online sales growth continued on its negative trend this month. Interestingly, this was mainly driven by a -7.3% drop for multichannel retailers, with online only retailers actually recording a growth of 1.7% in August compared to July, said Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant - retail lead for analytics & AI,Capgemini.

“This could indicate that multichannel retailers are focusing their efforts to get consumers into their shops again, given that British consumer confidence has reached pre-pandemic levels for the second month in a row according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.”