Internet retail surpasses high street figures
London. In what seems to be yet another blow to the high street, the British Retail Consortium has reported that May retail sales have dipped as customers held back on their spending. The previously reported rises in March and April now appear to have been distorted by a late Easter, the bank holidays and good weather. And unfortunately, the future does not appear to be any better, as a leading analyst house reported that long term prospects appear stagnant for the next decade.
However, this outlook contrasts sharply against the £5.2 billion spent online in April by UK shoppers, a significant increase of 19% on April 2010. According to the latest figures from the IMRG CapGeminin e-Retail Sales Index, the strong online growth was driven by exactly the same factors constraining the high street, namely the bank holidays, Royal Wedding and the warm sunny weather, which drove consumers online to update their wardrobes. Compared with April 2010, the sector climbed a staggering 32%; 8% more than March 2011. Another sector benefitting from the warmer weather was home and garden, which probably received a boost by thoughts of barbeques and summer parties. The sector grew 14% year-on-year and 11% month-on-month. Of all the sectors, alcohol saw the most significant growth, increasing 55% year-on-year and up 20% on March. Most significantly, the average order value reached £174, the highest basket value since November 2007, before the start of the recession, and nearly double that of April 2010
As Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini commented in the report, “April was a very strong month for the online retail sector. 19% annual growth demonstrates, once again, the value consumers and retailers alike are placing on e-commerce. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that consumers continue to spend on-line, despite rising inflation and stagnant wages, resulting in a very flat performance on the high-street.”
“All in all, a positive outlook for internet based companies,’’ remarked Stephen Basey-Fisher, Managing Director for Century Logistics. As a trusted Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL) for various internet based retailers, such as Floorsupplies.co.uk, the largest online flooring business in the UK; Pinesolutions.co.uk, the largest online furniture supplier in UK and various other businesses of all sizes from start ups to more established enterprises, Century Logistics has actually experienced this boom in internet retailing.
As Stephen continued, “We are now handling internet based retailers from start ups to the largest businesses online. What these customers require is consistent quality service, space and speedy deliveries. We are their trusted right hand team. As is often the case with most internet based companies that started off as home-businesses, we have helped many of our customers make the transition towards moving stock out of their homes and into our warehouses, allowing them to focus on their growth and not on their warehousing, stock and handling issues. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a customer grow and be extremely profitable. The internet is a level playing field and our customers are growing very fast.”
With over 350,000 square feet of high quality warehousing situated along the A11, Century Logistics has carved out it niche in the e-tailing community. Century is purposely based in South West Norfolk to take advantage of very cost effective warehousing, as well as the proximity to the national road network and the Port of Felixstowe. Companies importing in bulk can be accommodated with ease and Century has a selection of sites, sizes of buildings and racking configurations to handle any type of product. Ends
Notes to Editor
Century Logistics is a privately-owned logistics company with over 400,000 sq ft of warehousing and 140 staff. Century specialise in warehousing and innovative and bespoke aftersales services.
Its recently acquired 140,000 sq ft facility at Saxham Business Park near to Bury St Edmunds is one of the largest warehouses in East Anglia and is a joint venture with Dorel, the world’s biggest nursery products company.
Century has established a reputation for problem-solving, using its expertise in rework, product repair, handling customer service calls and selling end-of-line and returned stock via eBay and other outlets, for a wide range of customers.
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08 June 2011