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UK Online Retail Sales Report summary

February 2024

Period covered: Period covered: 31 December 2023- 27 January 2024

3 minute read


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

  • Online retail sales growth eased to xx% YoY in January (value and non-seasonally adjusted), against a xx% decline a year ago.

  • Average weekly online sales totalled £xx in January, the lowest average spend since xxxx xxxx.

Weak annual comparatives, increased promotional activity, weather disruptions and more time spent at home impacted performance:

  • Annual comparatives: A year ago, rising food, energy and borrowing costs, weighed on demand with consumers only being enticed to spend during the January sales period.

  • January sales: retailers used the typical January sales period to discount heavily across categories to drive demand.

  • This saw overall shop price inflation (as measured by the implied price deflator) ease to its weakest level since xxxx xxxx while inflation specific to the non-food channel fell to its lowest level since xxxx xxxx

  • Weather disruptions: temperatures eased in January, amid wet and stormy conditions.

  • Two further storms later in the month ultimately put consumers off visiting stores which led to footfall falling 0.8% YoY, with shopping centres said to be worst hit (MRI Software).

  • More time at home: after a busy festive period, households spent more time at home with spending on takeaways increasing as a result, rising xx% YoY in January (Barclays).

  • However, this didn’t have a positive uplift on the online channel with the online penetration rate falling to xx% in January, lower than the xx% rate a year ago and the weakest penetration rate since xxxx xxxx.



Omnichannel reality

Over the last four years, we've faced extraordinary obstacles. In 2024, retail businesses must persist in adapting their operations amid economic fragility, investing strategically to stay ahead.

In this report we discuss one of five key megatrends: Omnichannel reality, highlighted in our latest thought leadership report, which will require businesses to focus on enhancing resilience in an increasingly intricate trading landscape.

Full analysis in report including how the share of digital wallet payments in retail, leisure and hospitality is set to more than double to xx% in the next decade.



Take out a FREE 30 day membership trial to read the full report.


Online penetration eases

Source: ONS, Retail Economics Analysis

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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...