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Industry News

Published on December 15th, 2016 | by The GC Team


November retail sales benefit from Black Friday deals on electricals

Retail sales performed better than expected In November, albeit at a lower rate than in October.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics showed the volume of goods bought and the amount spent in the retail industry both increased 5.9% year on year.

Compared with October 2016, which at 7.4% recorded the fastest rate of growth in 14 years, sales volumes were estimated to have risen by 0.2%.

All store types reported growth in November with the biggest contribution coming from non-store retailing.

The largest increase was reported in electrical household appliances, where the quantity bought increased by 19.1% and the amount spent grew by 20.4%. Feedback from retailers suggested that electrical goods in particular had been boosted by Black Friday sales.

Alex Marsh, Managing Director Close Brothers Retail Finance, said: “Despite the uncertainty the UK has experienced in the wake of the Brexit vote, consumers continue to defy expectations and are spending on the high street, helping retailers end the year on a high note.

“Strong sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday helped the November figures, with our data showing that the average spend for electrical goods alone on Black Friday was twice as high as any other day in 2016. Retailers will hope this consumer confidence continues over the Christmas period.”

The ONS said the underlying pattern in the retail industry continues to show strong growth with the 3-month on 3-month movement increasing by 2.1%. This is the 35th consecutive period of 3-month on 3-month growth.

The amount spent online in November rose by 24.9% year on year and by 3.0% compared with October 2016. The average weekly online spend was £1.1 billion.

Heather Barson, Director for Retail and Hospitality, UK and Ireland, Fujitsu, said the figures reveal a strong and thriving UK retail sector even during times of economic uncertainty.

“The results also demonstrate how shoppers’ online habits are evolving, with online sales up 24.9% compared to last November, and are a clear indicator of consumers becoming ever more at home with using digital channels to shop.

“This rise in popularity of online shopping shouldn’t be viewed as a threat to the high street however. What bricks and mortar retailers ought to be doing is embracing it as an opportunity to reinvent themselves. British shoppers still value high street stores, with 63% saying so in a recent survey, emphasising that touch and feel provides an important experience for consumers.”

The amount spent online accounted for 15.8% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 13.3% in November 2015

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