Online sales of clothing and footwear plummet while health, beauty, home and electricals boom

During the first week of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, online retail sales growth was down -2.2 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY), reveals the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index.

One of three standout categories saw a surge in online health and beauty sales, which rose by +31.6 per cent YoY (7.3 per cent WoW). This growth builds on a strong six-month performance by the sector, as January and February online sales grew by +4.6 per cent and +17.6 per cent respectively. The marked increase in last week’s figure is particularly significant, however, when compared to 2019’s average sales growth of +20.6 per cent.

Online sales of electricals also spiked to +42.4 per cent  YoY (43 per cent WoW), as many Britons reportedly rushed to buy home office equipment, games consoles and freezers to cope with an extended stay at home period. Meanwhile, the demand for home improvement products also perhaps contributed to a +13.8 per cent YoY (10 per cent WoW) uptick in sales for home and garden.

On the other end of the spectrum, clothing saw its sales fall through the floor with growth plummeting by -26.7 per cent YoY (-22 per cent WoW). This result was mirrored across clothing’s subcategories, with footwear growth for example tumbling to -38.2 per cent YoY (22.9 per cent WoW).