e-tail Grows Stronger in UK than US

Apr 05, 2002

Online retailing is growing ten times faster in the UK than it is in the US, according to Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG). “E-retail as a proportion of all retail is just 1.2 percent in the US, but close to 3 percent in the UK,” IMRG says.

Online shoppers are not just bargain hunters according to the IMRG report’s findings. Virgin Wines’ finance and commercial director, Andrew Webb offered anecdotal evidence, “Our customers now spend nearly twice the UK average on a bottle of wine. Our average bottle price [rose] nearly 10 percent on last year. The reason for this is that our customers find buying wine on the Internet a more informative and consistent experience than shopping through more traditional channels. They still use these other channels but tend to use them for more commodity purchases, everyday drinking wine, along with their groceries.”

Moderator Comment: Why do you think UK consumers are
more active than their US counterparts in making purchases online?

Our favorite observation from this report (which has
nothing to do with our question) came from Jacqueline Gold, chief executive
of annsummers.com (lingerie and adult products), on her company’s 140 percent
year-to-year sales increase during the Valentine’s Day sales period. “Valentine’s
Day is traditionally one of our best days but these figures are quite remarkable
and just go to show that the British are not shy when it comes to spicing up
their sex lives. Contrary to popular belief the British are red hot-lovers and
are proving more adventurous in their choice of Valentine’s gifts. The top selling
Valentine’s product was the famous Rampant Rabbit vibrator as seen on C4’s Sex
and the City.” [George
Anderson – Moderator

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