Latest ONS figures show online stores continue to eat the high street’s lunch

22-Mar-2018

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) retail results for February show a 13.7% rise in annual online sales, with e-commerce purchases now accounting for 17.2% of all UK retail sales. British shoppers spent £1,230m online this February, compared with £1,193m in January. 

The e-commerce delivery expert ParcelHero says that, in contrast, the high street could only muster a slight rise of 0.8% over January’s poor results: resulting in an overall decrease of high street sales of 0.4% in the first three months of this year. 

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks said: 

“Online stores are continuing to eat high street stores’ lunch, and there seems no end to the problems facing many famous retail names. 

“This year we have seen Toys R Us and Maplin electronics fail, and Claire’s Accessories, Mothercare, New Look, Bargain Booze, Wine Rack and Poundstretcher are faltering in various ways. It’s no coincidence that this is happening at a time when e-commerce stores from Amazon to ASOS to Ocado all report healthy results. 

“The only glimmer of hope is that Britain’s beleaguered department stores saw an overall 20.7% rise in YOY internet sales as their switch to an integrated multichannel approach reaps rewards. 

“The likes of Toys R Us never really enthused internet shoppers. Their online offering failed to capture the excitement of the stores in their heyday and was never an automatic choice for toy shoppers. It looks like it’s being left to department stores such as John Lewis to show how a high street store with a reputation for quality service can carry that over into its online offering. Other retailers have to get this right, or this year’s list of failures could become catastrophic.”