E-Commerce Responsible for Rise in UK Sales
The steady growth in the number of people using the internet to buy goods and services led to a welcome rise in UK retail sales in December 2012, according to figures recently published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Total UK sales in December 2012 showed a marked increase of 1.5% on the previous year. Other sales figures, calculated to exclude the opening of new stores. increased by a modest yet noticeable 0.3%. These figures were significantly driven by the dramatic 17.8% increase in non-food sales online, without which it is calculated that total UK retail sales would have suffered a decline.
The BRC is the lead trade association and represents the entire spectrum of retailers in the UK, from independents to multiples. Spearheading powerful campaigns and holding influence within government, the BRC are an authoritative voice in the world of retail. "Many retailers have invested a lot in making their websites easier to use across devices and also increasing confidence in their online security," said recently-appointed BRC Director General Helen Dickinson before adding, "for the more established retailers, it seems that much of the growth is now coming from online orders, while shop sales are stagnant at best".
This news follows a report from supermarket chain Morrison's which showed a fall in their sales figures for December 2012. Several analysts have suggested that, combined with their difficult mid-range position between budget and high-end supermarkets, not offering an online shopping service has contributed to this decline in sales. Other experts also highlight the mixed messages sent out to consumers by a confused approach to marketing.
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