LONDON: Despite the credit squeeze and gloom on the UK's high streets and shopping malls, online shoppers are continuing to buy, claims ecommerce promotional body IMRG and consultancy Capgemini.

A new report reveals total online spend during the first half of this year was £26.5 billion ($52.8bn; €33bn), up 38% on the same period last year.

The report also claims that online shopping now accounts for 20% of all retail activity in the UK as cash-strapped consumers seek out internet bargains.

Comments IMRG ceo James Roper: "Online shopping growth continues to outperform the high street, as tight budgets and poor weather keep people at home where they can shop online for bargains."

He adds: "Clothing and footwear sales were the biggest losers in physical stores in June, with sales either flat or lower than last year despite heavy and widespread discounting.

"Online however they were big winners; internet clothing sales were up 32%, while lingerie sales rose by 37% and footwear 38%."

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff