Page last updated at 00:02 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Online shopping ahead 13% on 2008

A screen showing internet shopping
Some online categories saw a drop in orders in February

Online shopping is bucking the downward trend on the UK High Street, as latest figures show the "e-tail" sector made a 13% annual sales increase in February.

But, despite the annual increase, February online shopping fell 11% from the month before, the online retail research group IMRG Capgemini says.

The monthly drop was down to enhanced sales in January, thanks to continuing post-Christmas sales, the group said.

But online sales of beers, wines and spirits were up 30% on January.

There was also an increase in online sales in the few days before Valentine's Day on 14 February.

"These results show that the strong post-Christmas sales push and a toughening retail market have indeed led to a drop in spending from January to February," said Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini.

Categories which also showed an month-on-month increase included gifts and lingerie, but electricals, clothing and footwear, and health and beauty all showed a drop.

IMRG had previously reported a marked increase in online shopping over the Christmas and New Year period.

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