Olympics fail to boost online retailersThursday, 06 September 2012
The Olympic spirit failed to reach many retailers, including online
shops, as families shied away from shopping centres and central London, preferring to watch the games on television over shopping.
The British Retail Consortium reported on Tuesday that the value of sales were up 1.6 per cent in the month compared with a year earlier, one of the weakest annual increases in 2012. An important force behind the poor performance of retailers was that online sales grew at an annual rate of only 4.8 per cent in August – far below the typical annual rate of 11.6 per cent recorded over the past year.
Stephen Robertson, director-general of the BRC, said he could not see any boost to retail activity from the Olympics. “It’s clear people were absorbed by the magnificent Olympics and had little interest in shopping, especially for major items. Usually reliable online sales suffered, putting in the worst sales growth since we started the measure four years ago,” he said.
Helen Dickenson, head of retail at KPMG, said: “It could have been much worse. August is traditionally a weak month for sales and it’s really the next three months that will have a critical impact on retailers’ profitability.”