Quarterly Internet Sales increase highest since 2011

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have just published the monthly retail sales figures for June (pdf Full details  are available on the ONS site.

Overall figures showed a decrease in sales volumes of  0.1% on last month which was below  expectations which were for an increase of 0.3% according to Bloomberg. The weather got a seasonal mention being blamed for the delay in summer clothes sales leading to weakness in that segment.

The ONS on their preferred quarterly view noted continuing significant growth ” The three-month on previous three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the sixteenth consecutive period increasing by 1.6%. This is the highest calendar quarter since March 2004 (1.9%) and has been the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007.”

All the figures we quote are now the new seasonally adjusted statistics issued by the ONS. January 2014 was the one year in six when an extra week occurs statistically and we have annotated our headline graph to show an approximately comparable level of sales.

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet food sales at all time high of £109 million and are over £100 million a week for the ninth  consecutive month
  • Internet sales quarterly increase of 6.2%
  • June internet sales down 0.1% on May
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 49 pence was spent on non-store retailing 36 pence in non food stores and 15 pence in food stores!
  • We do think the ONS needs to do more analysis of internet sales as already half are effectively categorised as sales by online retailers virtually irrespective of the underlying goods or services! These average YoY growth figures of over 20%

June and year to date stats for internet sales:

  • Months sales 11.3% (11.4% last month 10.4 % a year ago) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase of 13.4% (15.5% last month 17.8 % a year ago)
  • Increase on quarter 1 of 2014 6.2% which is the highest quarterly increase since Q3  of 2011 (6.9%)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on May 2014 annualised +12.5% (2) on June 2013 +16.5%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 14% on 2013 and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

The ONS words this month are:

“Key Points

The amount spent online increased by 13.4% in June 2014 compared with June 2013 and decreased by 0.1% compared with May 2014. Month-on-month this is the first time since January 2014 we have seen a decrease (2.1%).

Internet Sales in Detail

Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are provided within this release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI Internet tables (196 Kb Excel sheet) and include:

  • A seasonally adjusted value index; and
  • Year-on-year and month-on-month growth rates.

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in GB. The reference year is 2010=100.

Key Points

  • Average weekly spending online in June 2014 was £728.9 million. This was an increase of 13.4% compared with June 2013.
  • The amount spent online accounted for 11.3% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel, compared to 10.4% in June 2013.
  • The online spend in department stores increased by 10.3% year-on-year, this is the lowest spend online in this store type since November 2011 (9.5%).

Table 5 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales by sector and the proportion of sales made online in each retail sector.”

Table 5: Summary of Internet Statistics for April 2014 (seasonally adjusted) We have added our annotations to the ONS table – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales.

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

+ Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

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The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since January 2009  to an all time high of £36.2.billion an increase in the month  of  1.2% annualised 12.5%. The average this year is 15.2%. The long term compound average growth rate is around 23%.

The published weekly figure was £728.9 million which was marginally below our estimate as was  the moving annual total at £36..2 billion.

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The average monthly increase this year is  now 1.1% so we’re  going for a little above this level of increase in July so are looking for £735-£740 million and a moving annual total of close to £36.6 billion

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, 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. Due to the exceptional 5 week month in Jan 2014 there is a 6 yearly jump to allow for the 53rd week!

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 (March June September and December are 5 week months). 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 which happened this year the previous one being in 2008.

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