BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor May 2015 - large home products popular online in May

BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor May 2015

Online sales contributed 1.4 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in May.


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  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 9.9% in May versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 17.0% over the previous year. This tough comparative explains why May falls behind the 12-month average growth of 11.9%. In May 2015, Online sales represented 17.4% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.2% in May 2014.
  • Online growth in Furniture and Household Appliances accelerated over their April performance, while the Fashion categories suffered the most from the strong comparative in May 2014.
  • Online sales contributed 1.4 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in May. The 3-month average contribution of online sales represented over 60% of Non-Food growth, in sharp contrast with May 2014, when it represented less than 40%.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "Positive consumer confidence was illustrated in May by good growth in big ticket items such as furniture and domestic appliances, particularly online. At 9.9 per cent May's online growth is below the twelve-month average rate of 11.9 per cent. However, it must be kept in mind that May 2014 had one of the strongest online growths of 2014 thanks to record fashion sales, so it is a tough comparison.

"Over the last 12 months online has contributed more to non-food sales growth than bricks and mortar stores, rewarding the substantial investment retailers have piled into new channels in recent years."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "Against particularly strong comparables last year, May’s online growth rate has tapered off slightly compared to April.

"However, the popularity of online shopping continues to grow with the three-month average growth rate up to 12.5 per cent and online penetration up across all sectors. As investment being made by many retailers in omnichannel systems remains unabated, this reflects the continued importance of this channel for consumer and retailer alike."

- ENDS -


Notes to Editors:

The Online BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor measures changes in the actual value (including VAT) of online retail sales, excluding automotive fuel. The Monitor measures the value of spending and hence does not adjust for price or VAT changes. If prices are rising, sales volumes will increase by less than sales values.

In times of price deflation, sales volumes will increase by more than sales values. Retailers report the value of their online sales for the current period and the equivalent period a year ago.

Total Non-Food sales growth is the percentage change in the value of all retail sales with the exception of food sales compared to the same period a year earlier. The total Non-Food sales measure is used to assess market level trends in Non-Food retail sales. Non-Food retail spending represents approximately 55% of total retail sales.

Online (including mail order and phone) sales of Non-Food are transactions which take place over the internet, or via mail order or phone. Online sales growth is the percentage change in the value of online sales compared to those in the same period a year earlier. It is a guide to the growth of sales made by all non-store channels.

Penetration is the proportion of sales attributed to the online channel (including mail order and phone). Penetrations are calculated category by category as online sales submitted by participating retailers relative to total sales those retailers submit to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. Participants who do not sell online (or through non-store channels) are included but participants who do sell online but do not submit their online sales are excluded.

The responses provided by retailers within each sales category are weighted* to reflect the contribution of each category to total retail sales, thus making it representative of UK retail sales as a whole. The rates used are derived from the Office of National Statistics Family Spending Survey and revised every year. Because the figures compare sales this month with the comparable period last year, a seasonal adjustment is not made. However, changes in the timing of Bank Holidays and Easter can create distortions, which should be considered in the interpretation of the data.

In its role as sponsor of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, KPMG is responsible for the aggregation of the retail sales data provided by the retailers on a weekly basis. This data consists of the relevant current week’s sales data and comparative sales figures for the same period in the prior year. The aggregation has been performed by KPMG on data for periods following 2 April 2000 and equivalent prior periods. The accuracy of the data is entirely the responsibility of the retailers providing it. The sponsorship role has been performed by KPMG since 10 April 2000 and the same for the aggregation of comparative sales figures for the period from 2 April 2000 it is not responsible for the aggregation of any data included in this Monitor relating to any period prior to 2 April 2000.

* The aggregation and weighting of data for the ‘online’ monitor has been performed by the BRC and KPMG for periods starting 25 November 2012 and equivalent prior year periods. Prior to that date, the online figures in this monitor refer to the unweighted Non-Food non store indicator, as published in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor until July 2013.

The commentary from the BRC is intended to be of general interest to readers but is not advice or a recommendation and should not be relied upon without first taking professional advice. Anyone choosing to rely on it does so at his or her own risk. To the fullest extent permitted by law, KPMG will accept no responsibility or liability in connection with its sponsorship of the Monitor and its aggregation work to any party other than the BRC.

© Copyright British Retail Consortium and KPMG (2014). The contents of this report and those of all ancillary documents and preparatory materials are the sole property of BRC and KPMG and are not to be copied, modified, published, distributed or commercially exploited other than with the express permission of BRC or for the purposes of journalistic comment and review. All rights reserved.


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The June 2015 Monitor, covering the five weeks 31 May – 4 July, will be released at 00.01am Tuesday 14 July 2015.

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.

Sponsored and Administered by

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

Detailed weekly data by category is available to retailers who contribute to the monitor.

If you would like to participate in the Retail Sales Monitor, please contact:

Anne Alexandre

T: +44 (0) 207 854 8960


This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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