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ecommerce is 'strongest retail platform' says CBI

ecommerce is 'strongest retail platform' says CBI
Monday January 30 2012

Online shopping sales enjoyed strong growth this month despite a fall in takings on the high street.

This is according to figures from the CBI, which revealed that ecommerce sites were the only part of the UK retail market to see any growth after the Christmas period.

Results of the survey showed that 44 per cent of retailers reported that sales volumes were down compared to the same time last year. However, 22 per cent said that they had seen a rise in sales, giving an end balance of -22 per cent.

CBI chief economic adviser Ian McCafferty said: "Online and mail order sales were the only areas that performed well in January. But growth was still down on last month."

He added that the drop in sales on the high street could be due to family budgets being put under pressure by the high levels of inflation and low wage increases over the last few years.

"Shoppers have reined in spending across the board at the start of the new year after taking advantage of early discounting last month, which boosted pre-Christmas sales," the expert explained.

Big-ticket items such as washing machines and fridges are those that are seeing the biggest struggle both in the online market and in traditional bricks-and-mortar shops, according to Mr McCafferty.

Furthermore, the CBI report showed that durable household goods saw a 100 per cent drop in sales, while hardware and DIY fell by 80 per cent and non-specialist traders such as department stores experienced a decline of 34 per cent.