The three-month average contribution of online to Non-Food growth exceeded that of stores for the third consecutive month, achieving another all-time record proportion outside of December.
Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "This month brings fantastic news for retailers who have worked hard on their online presence, as the online penetration rate of non-food sales is at an all-time record. Every £1 in £5 of non-food purchases is spent online. Online sales are also contributing a larger proportion of growth to non-food sales compared to in-store.
"Black Friday was the retail event of the month and retailers offered consumers impressive discounts both online and in-store. The high volume traffic to websites meant that consumers also bought a large amount of full priced items and not just those on sale. Online sales growth was good for the month but there may have been a distortion caused by Black Friday with consumers delaying purchases until the end of the month in the hope of grabbing some bargains."
"However, retailers’ online systems have been tested and some have been found wanting. The sheer weight of consumer demand caused some websites to buckle under the pressure and these retailers need to sort this capacity issue out and quickly or face losing sales to competitors with more robust systems.
"Online sales will help to drive growth for retailers this Christmas and are a crucial element of their overall strategy."
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The December 2014 Monitor, covering the five weeks 30 November – 3 January, will be released at 00.01am Tuesday 13 January 2015. The data is collected for the BRC by KPMG.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the UK's leading retail trade association. It represents the full range of retailers, large and small, multiples and independents, food and non-food, online and store based.
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.