Hitwise and IMRG has released the latest list of the top 100 retail, travel and shopping websites in the UK, with Amazon still firmly at the top of the online retail chart.

The first list, published three years ago back in May 2006, also had Amazon at the top (unsurprisingly). Hitwise notes that one of the fastest growing sectors in online retail right now is clothing, with a number of specialist and high street brands entering the Top 100 for the first time this year.

Travel websites, meanwhile, are experiencing an overall decrease in the amount of internet traffic, perhaps due to the ongoing credit crunch (or, as people infuriatingly continue to obliquely refer to it as, "the current climate.")

An alien economic vortex

The report notes that Play.com (3rd in May 2009, originally 5th in May 2006) held on to the third position it enjoyed last May, while Amazon's US site at number 4, pushed Tesco.com into its lowest ranking so far, down to number 5.

"Online merchants tend to be best placed to rapidly read and respond to consumers' shifting sentiments, appetites, values and demands, driven by the current alien economic vortex," noted IMRG's CEO, James Roper (a man who is clearly a fan of Star Trek).

"With more than £50 billion worth of online sales at stake this year, and almost all of retail growth accounted for by the online sector, if a brand is not on the list, you probably have to worry about its future - so being in the Top 100 is an acolade worth striving for. Cross-border trading is the latest online shopping trend that is taking off, as UK retailers seek to exploit the weak pound's attractiveness to overseas shoppers."

Top twenty travel and shopping websites in the UK:

Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Argos - www.argos.co.uk
Play.com - www.play.com
Amazon.com - www.amazon.com
Tesco.com - www.tesco.com
Marks & Spencer - www.marksandspencer.com
Epson UK - www.epson.co.uk
Expedia.co.uk - www.expedia.co.uk
Next - www.next.co.uk
ASOS - www.asos.com
easyJet - www.easyjet.co.uk
RyanAir - www.ryanair.com
Thomson Holidays - www.thomson.co.uk
Dell EMEA - www.euro.dell.com
Tesco Direct - www.direct.tesco.com
B&Q - www.diy.com
Apple Computer - www.apple.com
HMV.com - www.hmv.com
Littlewoods - www.littlewoods.com
Sainsbury's - www.sainsburys.co.uk

For the full list of the Top 100 UK travel and shopping sites head over to Hitwise right here.