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Solid performance for November retail sales

New figures have shown that UK retail sales edged up 0.6% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in November.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Solid performance for November retail sales

The figures from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor reveal that total sales rose by 1.3%, with food the biggest provider of growth.

Over the three-months to November, food sales were flat on a like-for-like basis but increased by 1.5% on a total basis. During the same period, non-food retail sales rose by 1.5% on a like-for-like basis and by 1.7% on a total basis. This was the highest non-food three-month average total growth since March.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “November saw total sales up 1.3% over the previous year, with food the biggest contributor to growth. Whilst the figure isn’t spectacular, it’s a pretty solid performance in what has been a challenging year for sales in the UK.”

The BRC said its figures confirm that the week including Black Friday saw non-food sales up around 40% compared with the other weeks of the month. However, compared to last year there was more of a shift of spending from earlier in the month, with sales down on last year in the weeks prior to 25 November.

Dickinson added: “It wasn’t the same story for everyone. Retailers of goods that don’t traditionally benefit from the event, such as clothing, saw weaker Black Friday week sales this year, but made the most of the increased online traffic in the weeks building up to 25 November by offering promotions to capture shoppers browsing for early bargains.”

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew by 10.9% in November versus a year earlier, when they had increased by 11.8%. This is the third consecutive month of growth above 10%.

All categories performed well, however toys and baby equipment were at the top of the list for shoppers.

Paul Martin, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Retailers now face the challenge of processing the inevitable returns following the surge in sales, all too easily overlooked amidst the excitement of Black Friday. The pressure then turns to ensuring deliveries will make it under the Christmas tree in time."

 

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