Online retail sales see lowest growth since March

Online retail sales growth has slowed for the third consecutive month as shopping grow cautious of spending as a second lockdown looms.

In September online retail sales increased by 65.1 per cent compared to the same period last year, marking the slowest level of growth since April, according to the latest figures from BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker.

The last week of September also saw the lowest level of online sales growth since March, despite footfall to physical shops dropping by almost a third.

This compares to growth of over 100 per cent in April, May and June, while online sales grew 81.2 per cent and 72.4 per cent in July and August respectively.

READ MORE: Footfall down by almost a third in September amid tighter restrictions

“While the first week of September provided a moment of positivity, the sustained threat of a Covid-19 second wave means retailers are remaining cautious over the near-term outlook, opting to place low levels of orders with their suppliers again this month,” BDO’s head of retail and wholesale Sophie Michael said.

“Activity in retail sales was picking up in the third quarter but there is concern that this will quickly fade amid rising nervousness as government support schemes which have helped to prop up jobs and businesses’ cash resources begin to diminish.”

It comes as sales were also down 23.4 per cent in stores throughout September against the same month last year.

BDO reported that fashion stores were particularly weak, seeing a 30.4 per cent year-on-year decrease.

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