Online sales in February were 12.4 per cent higher in comparison to the same period last year, new figures show.
According to bbc.co.uk, the figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal online purchases in February rose by 2.5 per cent when compared to the previous month. This shows that online is continuing to storm ahead of in-store sales. Overall, the UK’s retail sector grew by 3.7 per cent last month. Economists had predicted sales would increase by only 0.5 per cent.
Homeware retailers performed particularly well last month, which is likely due to the improving housing market. However, clothing and footwear retailers saw their growth slow, reports retail-week.com. Smaller firms and specialist shoe shops actually saw their sales decline.
Barclays head of retail and wholesale, Richard Lowe, put forward his prediction for the next few months.
“The wet weather in February will have taken its toll on the high street, as many people preferred to shop online,” he explains. “Looking ahead, I expect modest growth to continue, with retailers looking forward to the important Easter trading period next month.”
UK head of retail at Deloitte, Ian Geddes, agrees that the outlook for the retail sector remains to be positive and the tax cuts announced in the Budget will likely help drive consumer spending.