Online retail sales grew only 1.9 percent in May 2019 compared to a year earlier, which is the lowest rate recorded by the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index in its two-decade existence.
“When compared to this time last year, which saw the strongest May growth for online retail since 2010, the state of online retail remains rather tough,” wrote Capgemini’s Madga Bulska.
While clothing has continued to grow, it has done so at a slower rate than last year’s increase of 8.2 percent; however, the health and beauty sector showed strong sales growth during the same time, with a 22.6-percent rise year-over-year.
“When tracking the movement of something in an index, you sometimes get results that are a bit skewed by the growth rate you are comparing against,” said Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG.
“May 2018 was one such month – with the early summer heatwave, Royal Wedding and a World Cup looming, people seemed happy to spend out pretty lavishly on retail, so May 2019 was always going to be anchored by it. That said, 1.9 percent growth is far lower than we might have expected; indeed, it’s the lowest since we started tracking nearly 20 years ago, so it seems there is something more going on here.”