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Online sales growth show signs of slowing

Figures just released from IMRG Capgemini show that the ongoing growth in online sales continued in February 2009 with a 13% increase over the corresponding period last year. This comes at a time when the general retail sector is in sharp decline although there have been signs of many consumers switching from the off-line market to the online arena. However, there was a significant fall in online sales between January and February this year of 11% which has dented the hopes of online retailers in the short to medium term.

Even though it may be a little misleading to compare February against January, when we saw significant post-Christmas sales, there is no way that the online arena could continue to grow at the rate seen in late 2008. However, there are many experts who believe that we have seen a significant crossover between off-line and online sales and the online arena is now set to dominate the market as a whole.

Consumers have now switched on to the fact that not only are there significant discounts to be had online but the market also offers access to goods which may not be available locally, and free postage is often part of the package. Off-line retailing giants have struggled to attract significant numbers of consumers since Christmas and we have seen a sharp drop-off in sales over the period.

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