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"Online sales growth to be measured by a new indicator"- BRC

10
Nov '08
Online retail sales growth will be measured for the first time by a new sales indicator to be launched by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG from Tuesday.

The non-store statistic (which excludes food sales) will show how online, mail-order and telephone sales of those goods have grown compared with the same month a year ago.

It will be published for 00.01 tomorrow (11 November) with the latest monthly BRC/KPMG Retail Sales Monitor (RSM). The RSM has always included these non-store sales (also known as distance sales) within its figures for retail sales growth. Now, for the first time, the BRC is able to extract and reveal these results separately.

The new indicator is the first to cover non-store, non-food retail spending. It is a response to the increasing significance of this route to market and requests from BRC members who want an accurate measure that is not distorted by non-retail spending.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “Non-store sales are a relatively small, though rapidly growing, part of overall sales. For the first time there'll be accurate data on the sector's performance. Retailers want us to bring the authority of our existing Retail Sales Monitor to charting non-store sales within retail as a whole. With a full range of non-store retailers, including pure-online, mixed and mail order, taking part - these new figures will help demolish myths about the internet 'killing the high street'.”

Helen Dickinson, Head of Retail at KPMG said: “In the current challenging economic climate, the more information that retailers have at their fingertips the better. It's more crucial than ever that retailers know where sales are coming from and how and when consumer habits are changing, so that they can plan and adapt their strategies and make the most of the opportunities the market has to offer.”

Dr Jonathan Reynolds, Academic Director of the University of Oxford's Institute of Retail Management said: “There's a lot of hype about the growth in online sales. They are growing quickly but it's important to recognise that over nine pounds in every ten is still spent in traditional shops. And, since most of the biggest online retailers are also store-based retailers, we have to put non-store sales into context.

“This development of the long-established Retail Sales Monitor - which has a well-deserved reputation as an accurate barometer of the whole industry – will do just that. As the range of ways people shop develops, an equally robust measure for non-store sales will be a valuable new piece of data.”



British Retail Consortium


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