Joint figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG have shown online sales of non-food products in the UK being at their lowest ebb for 14 months.

Growth for September 2014 was pegged at 8.2%, compared to a 13.4% year-on-year rise in September 2013. It is the smallest growth seen in the monthly sales stats since July 2013.

Clothing and footwear fared particularly poorly, recording their lowest performance since figures began in December 2012. Retailers have attributed this to unseasonable warm weather in September.

Bumper Christmas

Online sales contributed 1.4% growth of the total UK non-food sales in September and British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson believes that all the signs are there for a strong Christmas performance in online sales of non-food products.

“For the first time, the growth of total UK non-food sales over the last three months has owed more to the online purchases than in store buying. This promises another record Christmas to come for online sales.”

Although online sales are at their highest penetration rate since February, they did drop to 17.5% of total non-food sales from 16.2% in September 2013. 

Investing in online

Several retailers have said that they intend to increase their commitment to online sales, according to David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG.

“We have seen heavy investment from retailers in their online systems this month as many have spent the summer testing and refining their online operations ready for the all-important run up to Christmas,” he said.

“As the orders begin rolling in, these investments will quickly pay dividends.”