LONDON: Britain's appalling summer weather drove shoppers off the high streets and onto the internet in July, according to new data from the Interactive Media in Retail Group.

IMRG reports a soaring 79.5% year-on-year increase in the month's e-tail sales, rising to £4.2 billion ($8.33bn; €6.18bn) from £2.34bn in July 06.

The shopping frenzy flies in the face of a series of rate increases by the Bank of England - five hikes over the past twelve months.

The fastest growing online sector was electrical goods, almost doubling sales in July last year. Apparel and accessories increased by nearly 60%.

Data sourced from BBC Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff