December 9, 2008, 12:00 AM

Online sales in UK stage a rebound on Monday

UK online sales grew 14% year-over-year Monday, reaching £320 million, the online retailer trade association Interactive Media in Retail Group reports. Online sales the previous Monday—Dec. 1—were flat compared to last year, the IMRG reported.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Online sales in the UK grew 14% year-over-year Monday, reaching £320 million, the Interactive Media in Retail Group, a trade association of online retailers, reports. The number of orders was up 18%, meaning the average order size was down from last year. It was the biggest online shopping day so far this year, the IMRG reports.

Online sales the previous Monday-Dec. 1-were flat compared to last year, the IMRG reported.

Total retail sales in the UK for last week have not been released, but the British Retail Consortium reported today that on comparable-store basis, sales in November were down 2.6% from November of last year. Total sales were down 0.4% from November a year earlier. It was the second month of a sales decline from the same month a year earlier, the first time back-to-back declines have taken place since the British Retail Consortium began its index in 1995.

The IMRG says it’s not certain that Monday will turn out to be the biggest day of the year. “In the 10 years that Firebox.com has been trading, yesterday was the busiest day of all time, with a record number of orders being placed. However, this is the first Christmas for a couple of seasons where the second Monday in December, traditionally the busiest day for online sales, has fallen 15 days away from our final cut-off date for Christmas delivery. Therefore there is a strong chance that next Monday the 15th may see similar or even greater sales,” says Christian Robinson, managing director, Firebox.com, which sells gifts and gadgets.

“Online sales are holding up well, considering the economic conditions, with both volumes and values significantly higher than last year,” says James Roper CEO of IMRG. “The ratio of researching to buying is also much greater, and researching started earlier this year.”

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