Online sales have continued to provide retailers with growth, up 13 per cent in February compared with last year.

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index however, spending did fall 11 per cent from January due to higher promotional activity in January and fewer trading days in February.

IMRG director of information Tina Spooner said: “Despite the uncertain economic climate, the e-Retail market continues to grow and shows resilience during the recession.

"With high street sales remaining flat in February, it is evident that consumers are using the web as a means to making the most of their shrinking disposable income.

"Recent research found that 87 per cent of UK consumers are making changes to their spending patterns, with many preferring to plan purchases and avoid impulse buying,” said Spooner.

Sales of beers, wine and spirits online rose 30 per cent in February marking the end of the traditional “January detox”. Valentine’s Day also boosted online sales of gifts.