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Postal strike fears slow online sales growth

Online sales in the UK have recorded their lowest monthly rise since 2000 because consumers are cautious during the recession and there is uncertainty...

Online sales in the UK have recorded their lowest monthly rise since 2000 because consumers are cautious during the recession and there is uncertainty over strikes at Royal Mail.

According to the latest research from IMRG and Capgemini, online sales increased by 1.9% between August and September. This is well below the average monthly increase this year of 15% and is the lowest rise since the study was launched in 2000.

UK shoppers spent a total of £3.9bn online in September.

"This is lower than the average month-on-month increase for September, as shoppers exercise more caution ahead of Christmas and as the recession continues to influence consumer spending. Postal strikes have also acted as a deterrent for online shoppers, and will continue to be a key concern for e-retailers in the lead up to Christmas," said the report.

Royal Mail strikes have already hit online retailers as they plan alternative ways of delivering goods and customers are put off buying online for fear of not receiving purchases in time.

Major retailers, including John Lewis and Amazon, are putting plans in place to switch to other delivery services if the strikes go ahead.

A postal strike lasting five to 10 days will cost online retailers an estimated £220m, the study commissioned by price comparison site Kelkoo reveals.

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