Food stores are the biggest winners so far. This is only the second time this year that the sector has seen a like-for-like increase in sales on 2010. Of course, they’ve paid dearly for the privilege. Mass-discounting across the board explains much of the buying spree.
Looking at latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, online retailers are having a rather jolly time too. Consumers mouse-clicked their way through £5.9bn in October alone, up 14% on 2010 sales over the same period. E-tailers saw a boost after the cold snap hit Britain: people have been rushing to online stores in droves to pick up winter warmers.
Something else is beefing up online revenues too. The smartphone. Mobile sales accounted for 11% of all online purchases in October, up from 3.1% last year. The iPhone is the real champion of the e-shopper, accounting for more than double the sales Android’s pulling in. And this trend looks set to stay. This month’s mobile revenues are tipped to increase 10% on last November while consumers, cosy in their homes and offices, will take the value of internet shopping baskets to £7.75bn over the next few weeks.
But while a bleak midwinter is good for e-tailers, let’s hope the high street makes it through the freeze.