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Published on October 18th, 2017 | by The GC Team


Online electricals sector suffers first September decline since 2003

UK online retail sales recorded the third-strongest growth rate so far in 2017 during September, but electricals suffered its first negative September growth since 2003.   

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, total online sales rose 14% year on year but electricals dipped 5.6%, marking the sixth consecutive month of negative growth for the sector.

IMRG noted signs of macroeconomic pressures influencing shopper behaviour, and said: “Several electrical manufacturers have already signalled that they have had to raise prices in response to inflation, which may be leading shoppers to wait until Black Friday to make more expensive purchases.”

Sales growth in the gifts sector was also slow – up just 1.9% year on year, compared with a rise of 33% in September 2016.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement design at Capgemini, said: “While 14% seems high, it hides the impact of inflation. When you look at how much faster online is growing than multichannel it implies that people are currently more price sensitive, comparing deals rather than buying directly through retail.

“Couple this with September’s cross-sector spending habits and it indicates a strong focus on essential purchases, with gifts slowing significantly and electricals continuing to decline. It could in fact be argued that electricals now serve as an indicator of consumer confidence, especially when you pit the sector’s performance against the previous year’s across the last 6 months.”

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Get Connected is the top trade journal for the UK electricals industry. Its website is the fastest, most interesting and up to date in the business.

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