Internet retail sales power ahead again in February

Click to enlarge

It’s the third Thursday of the month so the Office for National Statistics (ONS)  have just published the monthly retail sales figures for February (pdf).

There have been significant revisions to January’s reported overall figures, justifying all the associated health warnings. February, at best, disappoints many of the pundits. It is negative economic news!

January’s Internet figures previously declared as £640.4 million a week have, we calculate, been revised to £567.3 million much closer to our estimate of £555 million. The February figure is £573.6 million an increase of 1.1%

The ONS say:  “Internet sales

In February 2012 the non-seasonally adjusted average weekly sales value of Internet retail sales was estimated at £573.6 million which was approximately 10.7 per cent of all retail sales (excluding automotive fuel). In February 2011 non-seasonally adjusted average weekly sales value of Internet retail sales was £432.6 million which was approximately 8.3 per cent of retail sales (excluding automotive fuel).”

That’s a 33% increase on February last year. The cumulative year to date figure compared with 2011 shows an increase of  28%. The year on year figure for the 12 months ended February 2012 v’s 2011 is +21%.

Click to enlarge


The moving annual total, which we now also report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since January 2008) to an all time high of £27.85bn an increase in the month (adjusted re revisions) of 2.1% annualised 25%. This is in line with the long term compound average growth rate of 28%.



Our forecast for March is a little under £600 million a week with the 12 month moving average increasing to possibly £28,5bn.

Click to enlarge

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from 2008 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we mentioned recently, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity) that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016.


ONS words – “The experimental Internet Sales estimates include sales made over the internet by all retailers that is they include on-line sales from supermarkets, department stores, clothing stores and predominantly non-store retailers.”

Our words – The statistics understandably get revised each month and January’s % Internet sales have been revised down to 10.6% from 11.9%. We revise our data in line with the ONS. Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS. To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January and the last one was in 2008 which explains the exceptional figure of £1.2bn which would otherwise have been £1bn!

Speak Your Mind