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Published on December 6th, 2016 | by The GC Team


Non-food sales up 40% as electricals drive online sales

UK retail sales grew 1.3% in November, a slowdown from the 2.4% rise recorded in October but a “pretty solid performance”, according to the British Retail Consortium.

The BRC said that non-food sales rose by around 40% in the week that included Black Friday, compared to other weeks during the month.

“However,” commented Chief Executive Helen Dickinson, “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 the 25th November.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “November retail sales figures remained positive – with total growth up 1.3% on last year – but performance has slowed down and was not as strong as the previous month. Black Friday deals will have lured would-be shoppers away from the high street in search of bargains online.”

November was the third consecutive month of double-digit growth for online sales, with the Black Friday trading period contributing to a rise of 10.9%, slightly ahead of the long-term trend of 10.8%.

BRC’s Dickinson said: “With discounts on electricals being the key feature of Black Friday sales, it is unsurprising that the ‘Other’ non-food category, in which consumer electronics sit, contributed the most to growth in November.

“With more than 1 in 4 pounds spent online, this was a record high for online non-food sales.”

KPMG’s Martin added that shoppers were clearly happy to forgo the high street whilst hunting for bargains online. Penetration rates for the month rose to a “staggering” 27.6%.

“The next month will be critical for retailers, providing one final push to improve and maintain sales figures against a backdrop of increasing costs and consumers’ insatiable appetite for discounts.”

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