BRC Data Cast Positive Light on E-Commerce
While the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG figures are yet more bad news for the high street, ecommerce is still the growth frontrunner
Posted by Killian McAleese, 14th June 2011
Throughout March and April the Retail Consultant was on the edge of its seat anticipating the latest BRC figures. The big questions back then were whether the horror of March sales was as bad as it seemed and whether April's feel-good wedding weather was a blip of positivity or whether we were just back on track.
As everyone in the retail industry well knows, March was a fairly despondent time with like-for-like sales dropping partly on account of a late Easter, but commentators and consultants had to wait until May to get to grips with the data properly: because Easter migrates between March and April from one year to the next, the two months naturally need to be analysed together to read anything meaningful into their sales figures.
The goods times we saw in April did indeed compensate for poor March, but only slightly, and the pattern came out relatively flat overall.
And then there was May.
Many in the UK retail business have already consigned May 2011 to the dustbin of history insofar as the summer appeared to implode into near November-like conditions. This, too, has now been deemed to have affected high street performance throughout but especially during the second half of May, with a disappointing drop of 2.1% in like-for-likes.
But guess what: ecommerce did wonderfully by comparison! Well, not quite as wonderfully as we've become accustomed to: online like-for-likes we up a mere 10.2%, down on sunny April's 13% and certainly down from 20% in May 2010.
This kind of growth presents certain technical challenges for online retailers, but we're thankful that we're in ecommerce. We do, after all, have consultants who specialise in these problems!
It still has to be said, though, high-street chains optimising an online ecommerce presence can avoid some of the high-street woes. We look forward with trepidation to the BRC-KPMG June figures.
Is online the place to be?
Is there an ecommerce bubble?
Retail Consultant: Mobile App or Mobile Site? 13th June 2011
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