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UK Online Retail Sales Report summary

February 2022

Period covered: Period covered: 02 January – 29 January 2022

Note: This report summary is one or two months behind the current month as standard reporting practice. The content is indicative only and incomplete with certain data undisclosed. Become a member to access this data or take out a free 30 day membership trial now.

Online retail sales growth fell by 00% YoY in January (value and non-seasonally adjusted), against an 00% rise a year ago – the sharpest decline on record.

A year ago, the country entered its third lockdown, amidst rising anxiety about the newly detected covid-19 variant.

At the time, fears around the coronavirus were at their highest since the start of the pandemic with over eight in 10 viewing the coronavirus as either a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ threat to public health. Store closures meant spending transferred to the online channel, with sales growth rising to a near-record high. 

Fast forward to 2022, covid concerns have subsided from these highs, supported by the vaccine rollout and widespread booster campaign. With the unwinding of coronavirus restrictions during January and the end to self-imposed shielding over the festive period, consumers ventured out.

Against this backdrop, online sales growth fell to a record low in January with all categories recording double-digit declines albeit against near record highs a year ago. Online penetration fell to 00% in January having peaked at 37.8% a year ago.

Household Goods (00%) and Other Non-Food (00%) were the weakest performers, driving an overall decline in online Non-Food sales of 00%. This was weaker than the 00% decline for Food.

Grocery sales were impacted by more meals being eaten outside the home this year (compared with restrictions a year ago).

Notably the penetration rate rose for the third consecutive month to 30.1% of overall retail sales

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Online penetration remains elevated

Source: ONS

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  • Online market size estimates (£m)
  • Online spending forecasts (£m)
  • Online vs. Store analysis
  • Online sales growth by category (£m)
  • External data summaries: ONS, BRC, KPMG, BDO, IMRG-Capgemini
  • Online penetration rates by category and more...