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Online drinks sales growth cools, but remains far above pre-pandemic levels

Published:  10 March, 2022

Online sales of alcoholic drinks fell -18.5% YoY in the UK in February 2022, though nudged up 9.4% against those in the typically slow first month of January.

However, according to the most recent IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index for February, this fall is set against a whopping 99.5% increase in online sales in February 2021 over the same month in 2020.

The Index, which measures online sales performance across 200 retailers including those selling drinks, revealed that alcohol is outperforming other categories in terms of retaining increased online share of spend.

Online retail sales across all categories collectively rose 60% YoY in February 2021, dropping back -7.7% in February 2022, but with overall online sales remaining 16.1% up on pre-pandemic levels.

While this ‘shows signs of return to normal online retail spending patterns’, according to the report, Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG, added: “Overall online revenues are way up on where they were pre-pandemic.

“Now, for the first time since it began, the trading patterns between months have looked settled for a few consecutive months, which tells us the online/offline split is probably now set at the much-feted ‘new normal’.”

For the drinks trade, this will come as encouraging news to all those that pivoted to and/or strengthened their online proposition, investing to do so during the challenging era of restrictions and lockdown.