May 22, 2003, 12:00 AM

E-retail sales in the UK skyrocket, trade group reports

Online sales in the UK in April were 137.5% higher than in April last year, while total retail sales in the UK were 4.3% higher in April than a year earlier, the trade association Interactive Media in Retail Group reports.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

E-retail sales in the UK will reach £14 billion this year, nearly double last year’s £7.6 billion, the trade association Interactive Media in Retail Group reports. Online sales in April were 137.5% higher than in April last year, while total retail sales in the UK were 4.3% higher in April than a year earlier, the association says.

The group says that the clothing/footwear/accessories category had the highest growth rate in April, 173 higher than in April last year.

The IMRG Index reached 1,152 in April, the first time it exceeded 1,000. The index started in April 2000 at 100, meaning that online sales have increased 12-fold in three years.

"Our sales have grown by 150% over the past 12 months and the biggest challenge for our business is managing such rapid growth,” says Figleaves.com`s chairman Daniel Nabarro, a member of the IMRG. “Some secondary sectors like swimwear have far outpaced this growth and have convinced us that we can stretch our offer into new but complementary product areas."

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