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February 17, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 3:59pm

Black Friday ‘hangover’ hits January online sales

7% growth falls short of IMRG/Capgemini's 12% forecast for the year.

By Ellie Burns

The impact of Black Friday is apparently still being felt in the first half of 2015, with sales up 7% year-on-year.

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that while this 7% increase falls short of the predicted 12% forecast for the year, January 2015 comes off the back of particularly low December 2014 growth.

What’s more, the 25% month-on-month decline recorded is in line with what would be expected at this time of year.

Highlighting the ripple effect of early discounting during Black Friday, online sales of large ticket items within the electrical and home & garden sectors, which saw the biggest discounts in November, both recorded a 9% drop on January 2014.

However, sectors such as clothing reported a more promising start to the year, with a 14% year-on-year increase, while accessories and footwear surged 40% and 20% respectively.

The travel sector also recorded a strong January, with online sales reaching 21% year-on-year; a 183% surge on December, and a four year high for this period.

British shoppers spent on average £81 per transaction in January, the highest average basket value seen in this month since January 2011.

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Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini, commented: "January’s Index shows that we have entered 2015 with steady growth in e-retail sales, with a shift in spending to categories such as travel, which offered differentiated promotions in January compared to previous months."

"However, growth is being held back slightly by other categories, such as electrical and home & garden, which have seen sluggish sales since Black Friday. This suggests that the Black Friday ‘hangover’ has continued into 2015, dampening the traditional sales spike in key, high value categories during the January sales."

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer, at IMRG said: "The knock-on effect of Black Friday is clearly continuing to be seen for online retailers with the Index recording single-digit annual growth for the second consecutive month."

"Though the January growth rate seems low, this is directly connected to the record low increase of 5% seen in December. Interestingly the average basket value of £81 is the highest we’ve seen during January in four years – suggesting that there was less discounting this January as retailers shifted much of their stock over the Black Friday peak."

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