July has proven to be another exceptional month for fashion etailers. Whether it is a result of wet weather, town centre congestion, general laziness or a growing confidence in online retailing is not clear. What is clear though is that more people are buying clothing and footwear online while high street sales are faltering.
Online fashion and footwear sales grew by 23% in July. It is fair to say that there has been an amount of special offers and discounting on the internet. But this has also been happening on the high street.
Total online spend rose by 11.3% to £4.8 billion against June, which works out at an equivalent spend of £79 for every person in the UK according to the IMRG Capgemini Index, which measures online sales. Against July 2007, online sales were up 15.2%, and within that fashion, footwear and accessories sales recorded an uplift of 25.9% online.
Meanwhile according to the British Retail Consortium's high street sales in July, which fell 0.9% on a like for like basis against July 2007. Total high street sales were up 1.7% on the previous year but fashion sales were down.
The BRC claims the clothing sector has suffered one of the biggest effects of the slowdown in consumer spending as shoppers move further away from discretionary and frivolous spending.
One of the most successful etail stories is that of Net-a-Porter. This pureplay e-tailer saw sales rise by 48% to £55.2 million and pre-tax profits jump by 42% to £3m for the year ended February 2008.
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