United Kingdom


  • Industry: Retail and Consumer Goods
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 05/11/2013

BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor October 2013  

  • Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 12.1% in October versus a year earlier. In October 2012, they had increased by 7.3% over the previous year.


  • In October, online sales represented 18.3% of total non-food sales of our monitor, a record penetration rate. Excluding online sales, Clothing and Footwear would have shown a decline in October for the third month in a row.


  • October’s double digit online sales growth helped the three-month average reach its highest level since February. Other Non-Food contributed over two thirds of the growth, an encouraging sign for Christmas.


  • Online sales contributed 1.4 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales last month. In the last three months, the contribution averaged 1.3 percentage points – over a third of the total non-food growth.


Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "The share of non-food sales made online hit new heights in October, showing the highest ever penetration rate. The month saw wide ranges of festive products and gift ideas hitting the shelves as retailers readied themselves for the countdown to Christmas, and many shoppers valued the choice and convenience that came with browsing and buying online, as well as the opportunity to pre-order some of the key releases planned for November.


"It’s expected that many of us will ‘click into Christmas’ more than ever before this year, and retailers have invested significantly in user friendly websites, fast deliveries and convenient ways of buying in-store, at home or on the move. These figures are an encouraging sign that these improvements are striking a chord with customers."


David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "These figures underline how vitally important online is to the average retailer’s overall performance. If we discount online transactions then fashion sales would have been negative this month. In fact online sales accounted for a third of the growth seen in the non-food sector over the last quarter, underlying their magnitude to both the retailer and the consumer.


"As we approach Christmas I would expect online sales to continue to pick up pace. This will be another bumper Christmas for the online sales channel, be it through click and collect or the traditional delivery to a customer’s door."




The Online BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor measures changes in the actual value (including VAT) of online retail sales, excluding automotive fuel. The Monitor measures the value of spending and hence does not adjust for price or VAT changes. If prices are rising, sales volumes will increase by less than sales values. In times of price deflation, sales volumes will increase by more than sales values.


Retailers report the value of their online sales for the current period and the equivalent period a year ago.


Total non-food sales growth is the percentage change in the value of all retail sales with the exception of food sales compared to the same period a year earlier. The total non-food sales measure is used to assess market level trends in non-food retail sales. Non-food retail spending represents approximately 55% of total retail sales.


Online (including mail order and phone) sales of non-food are transactions which take place over the internet, or via mail order or phone. Online sales growth is the percentage change in the value of online sales compared to those in the same period a year earlier. It is a guide to the growth of sales made by all non-store channels.


Penetration is the proportion of sales attributed to the online channel (including mail order and phone). Penetrations are calculated category by category as online sales submitted by participating retailers relative to total sales those retailers submit to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. Participants who do not sell online (or through non-store channels) are included but participants who do sell online but do not submit their online sales are excluded.


The responses provided by retailers within each sales category are weighted* to reflect the contribution of each category to total retail sales, thus making it representative of UK retail sales as a whole. The rates used are derived from the Office of National Statistics Family Spending Survey and revised every year. Because the figures compare sales this month with the comparable period last year, a seasonal adjustment is not made. However, changes in the timing of Bank Holidays and Easter can create distortions, which should be considered in the interpretation of the data.


In its role as sponsor of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, KPMG is responsible for the aggregation of the retail sales data provided by the retailers on a weekly basis. This data consists of the relevant current week’s sales data and comparative sales figures for the same period in the prior year. The aggregation has been performed by KPMG on data for periods following 2 April 2000 and equivalent prior periods. The accuracy of the data is entirely the responsibility of the retailers providing it. The sponsorship role has been performed by KPMG since 10 April 2000 and the same for the aggregation of comparative sales figures for the period from 2 April 2000 it is not responsible for the aggregation of any data included in this Monitor relating to any period prior to 2 April 2000.


* The aggregation and weighting of data for the ‘online’ monitor has been performed by the BRC and KPMG for periods starting 25 November 2012 and equivalent prior year periods. Prior to that date, the online figures in this monitor refer to the unweighted non-food non store indicator, as published in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor until July 2013.


The commentary from the BRC is intended to be of general interest to readers but is not advice or a recommendation and should not be relied upon without first taking professional advice. Anyone choosing to rely on it does so at his or her own risk. To the fullest extent permitted by law, KPMG will accept no responsibility or liability in connection with its sponsorship of the Monitor and its aggregation work to any party other than the BRC.


© Copyright British Retail Consortium and KPMG


Media Enquiries


British Retail Consortium

21 Dartmouth Street

London SW1H 9BP

020 7854 8900



Mandy Ryan, 020 7854 8920

mobile: 07557 747 269




15 Canada Square

London E14 5GL

020 7311 1000



Zoe Sheppard, 0117 905 4337

mobile: 07770 737 994




The November 2013 Monitor, covering the four weeks 27 October – 23 November, will be released at 00.01am Tuesday 3 December 2013.

The data is collected for the BRC by KPMG.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the UK's leading retail trade association. It represents the full range of retailers, large and small, multiples and independents, food and non-food, online and store based.


Sponsored and Administered by


About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 10,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2012. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in more than 156 countries and have more than 152,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.


Detailed weekly data by category is available to retailers who contribute to the monitor:


If you would like to participate in the Retail Sales Monitor, please contact:


Anne Alexandre
0207 854 8960


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