by Joe Hope
According to the latest report by KPMG and the British Retail Consortium, retail sales in the UK increased in November compared to the previous year.
The report found that between 31 October and 27 November British retail sales grew 5.0% compared to the same period a year earlier. This was well above the 0.9% growth noted in November 2020, and higher than the three-month average growth rate of 2.2%.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said, “As people revamped their wardrobes for this winter season, consumers took advantage of discounted clothing, shifting the focus of Black Friday away from electronics and home appliances.”
According to the report, in the three months to November, non-food retail sales grew by 3.9% on an aggregate basis and 0.9% on a similar basis, when compared to the same period a year ago.
In-store sales of non-food items grew 30.5% on an aggregate basis, though they still remained below the 12-month aggregate average of 34.0%. Online non-food sales in November fell 17.9% from the previous year, when the UK was in a pandemic-induced lockdown.
KPMG analyst Paul Martin said, “Sales on the high street increased during November, as consumers were excited by the continued roll out of the vaccine program, and eager to make sure they got the gifts they wanted for Christmas. Moving to physical stores.” said.
Looking ahead, the spending pattern suggests that sales may be more spread out than in previous years, BRC said. Rising costs continue to cut margins and supply-chain issues have impacted the availability of merchandise, leaving retailers little room for the big discount events seen in last January’s sales.
“Consumers, on the side of caution, are shopping for gifts to get ahead of issues related to shipping and transportation. Meanwhile, retailers are doing everything possible to prepare stores, warehouses and deliveries before Christmas, Everyone is prioritizing the food and gifts that customers will need to enjoy the festive season,” Ms Dickinson said.
Write to Joe Hope at [email protected]