Leading high street department stores in the UK 2018, by online audience

Retailers today are in a tight competition not just for greater sales and market shares, but for consumer attention online as well. In 2018, among UK’s many department store retailers, Argos won the online views game, attracting the highest amount of visitors to its website. The online audience of Argos (online unique visitors from desktops and mobile devices) amounted to 15.4 million, double the number that M&S had for the same period.

Argos: faithfully online

Argos’s leadership position in online audiences should come as no surprise, since the company has ranked as the top multichannel company in 2019. Now part of the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s plc, Argos is a catalogue retailer with displays of its products available both online and in physical stores, of which there are currently 844.

Drama in the department store

The UK has a quite packed market of department stores, but some of them have been struggling for a while. House of Fraser is one of them, which was bought of by retail giant Sports Direct after going into administration. Sports Direct also had bids to add another department store Debenhams into its inventory of high street staples, but the department store retailer was taken over by its lenders instead.

Leading 10 high street department stores in the United Kingdom (UK) in October 2018 (in millions), by online audience

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Release date

December 2018


United Kingdom

Survey time period

October 2018

Supplementary notes

The source adds the following information in regards to data: "Data is based on 6+ online unique visitors for desktop and 18+ online unique visitors for mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) in October 2018 and October 2017.
Total audience reach for the top 10 department stores is based on an audience duplication report."

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Statistics on "High street retail in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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