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Industry News

Published on December 9th, 2020 | by The GC Team

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Electricals a winner for UK retail sales

UK retail sales increased 7.7% on a like-for-like basis in November, with home-centred items such as technology and household appliances putting in a strong performance.

The disparity between online and in-store non-food sales continued to widen, however, with online non-food sales reaching the highest penetration rate since May and stores again experiencing a double-digit decline as tighter restrictions were bought in across England.

Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson said: “In-store non-food sales saw a significant decline as a result of the lockdown in England; however, some retailers were able offset a proportion of lost sales through greater online and click-and-collect sales, ensuring they could still serve their customers.

“Extended discount periods helped spread demand and offered customers great deals on gifts including the latest gaming consoles, other electronics and home accessories.“

Over the three-months to November, non-food retail sales increased by 6.4% on a like-for-like basis and 1.3% on a total basis, but in-store sales declined 10.8% and 18.6% respectively.

Online Non-Food sales increased 47.2% in November, against growth of 0.3% in November 2019, while the penetration rate increased from 33.2% in November 2019 to 59.3%.  

“It was a tale of two channels,” commented Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG. “Lockdown resulted in a dismal performance for high street retailers, whilst online sales rose by impressive double figures across most categories.”

Martin commented that the arrival of a vaccine programme will help to boost consumer confidence, “but conditions are likely to remain challenging for the immediate future,” he said.

“Retailers will need to fight hard in the January sales for every penny in consumers’ pockets.”

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