A chink of light in the otherwise gloomy retail weather forecast has been unveiled by Verdict Research, which said online retail growth will continue to outperform.
Neil Saunders, director of consultancy warned complacent retailers that not having a transactional website was closing the door on lucrative growth.
The retail analyst predicted that online sales in 2008 will increase 31.0% year-on-year, compared with offline sales which will grow only 1.2%.
Saunders said the key to success for retailers was to have a multi-channel approach.
'Having an Internet presence is now more important than ever,' he said.
'Any retailer that doesn't have one is essentially shutting the door on a very lucrative stream of growth. And in this current environment there are very few retailers who can afford to do that. As such, the future for successful retailers isn't about choosing between bricks and clicks. It's about bricks and clicks.'
Verdict predicted that by 2012 online retail will account for 14.0% of retail expenditure or £44.5bn worth of sales.
The proportion of total sales accounted for by online expenditure has already grown from 2.4% in 2004 to 6.7% in 2008.
Source from: Cabinet Maker