Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 14.2% in September versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 8.2% over the previous year, the second-slowest growth of 2014. This is ahead of the 12-month average of 12.1%, reports the latest BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor.

In September 2015, online sales represented 17.7% of total non-food sales, against 17.2% in September 2014 – a 0.5 percentage point increase, the smallest since April 2014.

Furniture saw the second-highest growth of all categories and its best since the records began, helped by the positive distortion of the Bank Holiday inclusion in the September period. Online penetration rate year-to-date, at 24%, was up a mere 0.6 percentage points over 2014, due to a very good performance of furniture in stores as well, helped by the inclusion of the Bank Holiday in the period.

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, says: “Although bricks-and-mortar shops were the stars this month with great sales strength, online is proving itself to be a successful steady contributor to overall sales all year round. September's online furniture sales were particularly fruitful, with the best sales growth since records began in December 2012. Some exclusively online retailers are now opening physical shops in attempts to connect with more customers and showcase products in the way only shops with a front door can.”