UK online retail sales in the first half of 2019 slumped to their lowest ever growth rate of just 5.4 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers with a combined annual spend of £28bn. Lingerie was among the sectors that saw the lowest growth.

In first half of 2018, online retail sales had registered a year-on-year growth of 16.9 per cent, with consumer spending buoyed by events like the Royal wedding, World Cup and the Spring heatwave. The slowdown in growth during January-June 2019 was also broadly reflected across the sectors, with all but three recording reduced but still positive increases. Health & beauty (+13.0 percent), home & garden (+9.3 percent), and clothing (+7.3 percent) saw the strongest growth. Clothing in particular had a substantially better Q2 (+11.2 percent YoY growth) than Q1 (+2.6 percent YoY), due to the hot weather and retailers starting their summer sales early.

Looked at individually, one of the largest YoY declines in growth was seen in garden (-34.4 percent), although this reflected a fall from a particularly high growth rate in H1 last year thanks to the standout weather from April onwards. Elsewhere, the sectors which fared worst were electricals (-22.7 percent), gifts (-22.8 percent) and lingerie (-8.9 percent), all of which have experienced a continuous decline in sales over the past six months.