PARIS (Reuters) - Online retail sales in France jumped more than 11% last year and could grow further in 2020 despite fears of slower consumer spending because of strikes over pension reforms, the country’s E-Commerce Federation (Fevad) said on Wednesday.
The French spent 103.4 billion euros ($114.2 billion) online in 2019, helped by Christmas sales of 20.3 billion euros, Fevad said, predicting that sales this year could reach 115 billion euros.
Fourth-quarter online spending was 29.2 billion euros, up 11.3%, though Fevad said online retailers did not benefit from any strike-related disruption to shopping in brick and mortar stores.
The French economy, the second-biggest in the euro zone, shrank 0.1% quarter on quarter as consumer spending and business investment slowed in the face of the protests, data from the INSEE statistics agency showed.
As in previous years, the online retail sector’s growth was helped by an increasing number of online vendors and as growing numbers of consumers turned to the Internet and mobile phones to shop more often, Fevad said.
Shoppers’ average spend online dipped but there was an increase in the frequency of purchases with 1.7 billion online transactions in 2019, up 15.7% from the previous year.
In 2019 e-commerce accounted for 9.9% of overall French retail sales, up from 9.1% in 2018.
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by David Goodman