* Clothes, books, electronics most popular categories
* Amazon, Otto, Zalando, D.Post biggest in e-commerce
BERLIN Jan 30 German online sales leapt 54.5
percent over the Christmas period from the same time the year
before, underscoring the rapid shift in consumer spending from
traditional stores to the internet.
BVH, Germany's e-commerce trade association, said on
Thursday online sales reached 8.5 billion euros ($11.6 billion)
in the period from mid-October to Dec. 24, meaning they probably
accounted for about 10 percent of total retail sales.
The pattern has been similar elsewhere in Europe.
Online transactions across the continent rose 37 percent in
December, according to payment services provider Ogone, while
online sales of non-food products in Britain climbed 19.2
percent in December, the highest growth for four years,
according to an industry body.
BVH said clothing was by far the biggest category for online
sales in Germany, followed by books and electrical goods.
Company results suggest online retailers and firms able to
combine internet shopping with pick-up facilities in store
performed far better over Christmas than traditional stores.
Strong performers include the likes of Dixons Retail
, Europe's No.2 electricals retailer by revenue, and
British fashion chain Next.
German department store group Karstadt, meanwhile, saw a
drop in Christmas sales.
Online retail sales in Europe are forecast to double by 2018
to 323 billion euros, according to market research firm Mintel.
Companies benefiting from e-commerce in Germany include
Amazon.com Inc, mail-order group Otto, online fashion
retailer Zalando, the Media-Saturn electronics chain
as well as logistics providers such as Deutsche Post DHL