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Online shopping wins big in January

11 February 2016 - 08:54 by Graham Miller

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Just over a fifth of all sales made in January took place online, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

This means that the sales period which occurs at the start of every year was increasingly e-commerce oriented, with online sales up by 14.9 per cent.

Report spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, said that January is still an important month for retailers, since the sales allow them to stimulate growth and ensure that there is not a post-Christmas slump in consumer activity.

The good news for the high street is that there were some product categories in which it actually outstripped online outlets in terms of growth. For example, people were more interested in buying things like furniture and footwear from bricks and mortar outlets.

In total, the retail sector enjoyed a 3.3 per cent rise in sales last month, which is the biggest increase seen for almost half a year.

Dickinson pointed out that the only area to suffer a slight decrease in sales was food, which is unsurprising, given that many people choose to scale back their eating and drinking habits after Christmas.

Analysts believe that e-commerce outlets also benefitted from the fact that people heading back to work at the start of January were in need of a little retail therapy to improve their moods. As a result, it was simple to convince consumers to turn to safe shopping online in order to fight back against the festive comedown.

While the January Sales may be starting earlier than ever, often kicking off in late December, this report shows that it is not resulting in slower growth at the start of the year, with online sales being particularly popular among consumers in the UK at the moment.