Britain tops Europe for online spending
Despite the gloom on the high street, figures show that online sales not only remain buoyant, but are continuing to surge ahead.
We may be a nation of shoppers, but it seems the way we shop is changing for ever.
Figures reported by Mintel show a remarkable trend in Britain towards online shopping – way ahead of anything seen in the rest of Europe.
Internet sales spending in the UK topped £1bn a month last year, with total online sales exceeding £12.8bn.
Compared to other major European economies, the UK’s enthusiasm for internet shopping is streets ahead.
The next closest country to the UK in terms of online sales spend in 2007 was Germany, clocking up £10.3bn.
Spend in France was half this number, at £5.5bn, whilst Italy and Spain were yet to catch up with the e-marketing trend, spending around £870m and £790m respectively.
Growth trends showed a similar, remarkable story. Between 2005 and 2007, online sales revenue in the UK increased by 75%, with a further 199% growth predicted by 2012.
Tesco lead the way in the boom in internet shopping. Tesco.com is now the largest online food retailer in Europe, with revenues twice those of Carrefour - its closest rival in France.
An online Christmas
This strong Christmas 2007 figures for online retail flew in the face of a general decline in consumer confidence fueled not least by the Northern Rock crisis, the US credit crunch and the shaky-looking housing market.
In the 5 weeks to January 5th 08, Tesco report an increase of 24% in their online sales growth and Sainsbury's report like for like online sales growth of 40%, against 3.1% and 3.7% overall sales growth respectively.
It seems that the online sales channel is proving robust enough not only to withstand a fall in consumer confidence but to a ride it like a champion surfer.