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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 12:07 GMT
Online fashion sales 'top 1bn'
Nike shoes
Young people are the most likely to buy clothes and shoes online
Online spending on clothes and shoes in the UK has hit the 1bn mark for the first time, research by Mintel shows.

Internet fashion expenditure has risen by 461% over the past five years because of wider internet access and a rise in clothes-based websites.

The sales record in 2006 came after more retailers made their entire range available to buy remotely, Mintel said.

It added that as firms such as Tesco and New Look expand on the internet, this would fuel online clothes sales.

'Defining year'

"The online clothing industry is still in relative infancy but there is little doubt that 2006 was the defining year for the online fashion market," said Neil Mason, a senior retail analyst with Mintel.

The survey, which looked at the buying habits of more than 2,000 people, showed that 1.2bn was spent on clothes and footwear through the internet in 2006.

Online clothing and footwear sales will grow by a further 138% by 2011, Mintel forecasts.

The 15-24 age group is most likely to buy such items online, accounting for 19% of those making internet fashion purchases.

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