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UK Contractors: November’s retail sales up thanks to Black Friday

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Contractors and Limited company owners working within the retail sector will be pleased to hear that November has been ‘saved’ by black Friday.

Findings from the latest Retail Sales Monitor, carried out by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG, found that last month recorded the best performance in three months. 

UK retail sales grew 0.9%, on a like-for-like basis from November 2013, when they had increased 0.6% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.2%, against a 2.3% rise in November 2013. 

According to the report, the fact that household appliances was the best performing category was testament to a successful Black Friday.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, commented, “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.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, added, “Consumers were reluctant to spend too much, too soon until a record breaking Black Friday helped to kick start festive spending. Fashion and footwear retailers used this occasion to recover some lost ground but at a cost to their margin. Sales of electrical goods were strong all month and positively rocketed with Black Friday offers. 

“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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