Online clothing sales double

Published: 17 April 2011 y., Sunday

The online clothing market has doubled over the last five years as an increasing number of shoppers have had access to broadband and abandoned the high street.

Over a third of consumers have brought some of their clothes over the internet in the last year, proving that internet fashion shopping - once dismissed as something that would never take off - has come of age. Last year £4.3 billion worth of clothes were bought over the internet, a growth of 152 per cent in the last five years.

More than a third, 35 per cent, of shoppers bought their clothes online in the last 12 months, up from 26 per cent the previous year. The research predicted that the online clothing market would hit £4.8 billion by the end of this year, despite the marked slowdown in consumer spending on the high street.

Many retailers have complained that consumers have suddenly stopped spending, as the effects of record petrol prices, a higher National Insurance rate and higher food prices have squeezed their disposable income.

Phillip Rinn, senior director of advertising at eBay International, said: "At a time when recent figures highlight wider retail sales have seen their worst monthly decline in 15 years, the increase in online retail revenue is particularly impressive and shows that at a time when belt tightening was expected across the board, online continues to buck the trend."

The online market clothing market had been helped by more sophisticated websites, showing close-up pictures of clothes, as well as a number of major players going online for the first time. Until just a couple of years ago Zara, H&M, Gap and Topshop did not have "transactional" websites where you could buy a full range of their clothes.

It has also been helped by the number of households with broadband internet connections climbing from below 50 per cent five years ago to 75 per cent last year.

When internet shopping was first developed over a decade ago, many believed that clothing retailers would never succeed selling their products online because consumers wanted to see, touch and try on the garments.

Šaltinis: telegraph.co.uk
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