November retail sales saved by Black Friday
A Black Friday surge helped retail sales to reach a three month high in November as shoppers rushed to buy household goods and appliances.
Figures published in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor show that UK retail sales edged up 0.9% on a like-for-like basis from the same month last year while total sales rose by 2.2%. Household appliances was the best performing category driven by a successful Black Friday. This was followed by furniture and the home categories.
British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: “November’s retail sales demonstrate continued growth in sales across the board compared to last month. The huge demand for bargain TV’s and other household appliances on Black Friday, whether for personal use or as presents meant that electricals were the stand out category in terms of sales growth. However retailers also took advantage of the increased footfall generated by Black Friday to sell clothing, effectively bringing forward the start of Christmas sales reductions of autumn/ winter stock.
“That being said, customers also bought full priced items and showed interest in premium ranges particularly in food and retailers who didn’t discount for Black Friday also saw increased sales. These are encouraging signs in the run up to Christmas when consumers will likely want to push the boat out even more.”
Over the last three months, food showed a 1.2% drop in sales. Even though November was the seventh consecutive month of decline, the BRC figures show that there was an improvement over the three months to October.
Meanwhile, online sales of non-food products grew by 12% year-on-year in November. The non-food online penetration rate was 21% in November, which was the highest level since the BRC and KPMG began compiling their records.
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Consumers were reluctant to spend too much, too soon until a record breaking Black Friday helped to kick start festive spending.
“Sadly some retailers fell short of the mark, with websites crashing under the pressure of shoppers hunting for a bargain. Resolving these issues must be a priority: consumers go online to avoid queues, not join them.
“After years of slow growth this Christmas could be a cracker for the retail sector, with sales surpassing last year’s levels. Online sales will be launched as early as Christmas Day and shoppers will be able to pick up a bargain while tucking into their turkey.”
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