Online sales continued their impressive growth in 2011, after UK internet shoppers spent £5.2bn in April, an increase of 19 per cent on the same period last year, according to the latest stats from industry body IMRG and Capgemini.
Several bank holidays, the Royal Wedding and unseasonable hot weather all contributed to the strong growth, with alcohol sales understandably driving much of the increase, shooting up 55 per cent year on year and 20 per cent on March.
The warm weather also helped propel clothing sales, which grew 32 per cent year on year, and home and garden items, which rose 14 per cent.
Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, argued that 19 per cent growth in e-commerce over the period proves that the sector is in good health.
This is despite "rising inflation and stagnant wages" which has led to a very flat performance on the high street, showing that online sales continue to show strong resilience to the poor economic conditions at the expense of bricks and mortar stores.
"Our data showed a 45 per cent increase in the number of transactions compared with the same time last year, as well as an increase of 34 per cent in consumer spend," Webster added.
"It is likely that the combination of the bank holiday weekends and the Royal Wedding has fuelled growth in the sector as consumers seek to avoid the crowds and shop at their convenience."
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