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E-commerce boom helps department store sales to soar

19 February 2013 - 12:06 by Simon Crisp

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While some high street retailers are finding that the online shopping revolution is damaging their business, it seems that department stores are the exception, according to new figures from Barclaycard.

Reporting on the statistics for transactions over the course of 2012, the company found that almost a fifth of all sales were carried out via safe shopping online, which is a 12.8 per cent annual increase for the industry.

When looking at the e-commerce performance of individual retailers, it was found that department store giant, John Lewis, was one of the most successful, with a 37 per cent increase in online sales.

This gave it a record-breaking year on the web, which analysts believe is in part due to the fact that major rival Amazon was hit with negative publicity relating to its tax affairs.

The turbulent high street situation also helped to expand the number of people using e-commerce sites to buy products, with the closure of Comet stores resulting in a 34 per cent increase in the number of electronic products that were bought via safe shopping online.

While the web continues to catch up to the high street in certain areas, it seems that the economic pressures facing British consumers are still helping some bricks and mortar companies to grow.

Over the course of 2012, the entertainment industry was a beneficiary of the adverse financial circumstances facing many Brits, with Cinema ticket sales up by eight per cent and fast food revenues expanding by 26 per cent.

The retailers that will continue to be successful are those that harness a multichannel approach, blending the best of high street and online services, so that consumers enjoy an affordable and convenient way to shop for the items that they need the most.