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Online clothing sales plummet -26.7% year-on-year in week one of home isolation

Tom Bottomley
27 March 2020

Online retail sales growth was down -2.2% year-on-year in the first week of the Government’s new home isolation guidance – which commenced on 15 March, 2020 – but the clothing sector fell through the floor with growth plummeting -26.7% year-on-year, and -22% week-on-week.

The results were even more stark across footwear, with growth tumbling -38.2% year-on-year, and -22.9% week-on-week.

The latest figures come from the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

The COVID-19 crisis continues to force drastic changes in consumer shopping habits, and week-on-week overall online sales growth was actually up +5%, with stockpiling playing its part.

One standout category was health and beauty, which saw sales surge by +31% year-on-year, and 7.3% week-on-week. That growth builds on a strong six-month performance by the sector, as January and February online sales grew by +4.6% and +17.6% respectively.

Online sales of electricals also spiked to +42.4% year-on-year and +43% week-on- week, as many Britons reportedly rushed to buy home office equipment, games consoles and freezers to cope with an extended stay at home.

The results will only get worse for clothing and footwear as many retailers halt online sales altogether on top of closing stores. Last night Next announced it would be halting e-commerce orders until further notice and today luxury fashion site Net-A-Porter also confirmed its online orders were being suspended while its London distribution centre was on lock-down.

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