The shopping frenzy created by Black Friday last week helped push retail sales back into growth in November as shoppers flocked online and into stores to snap up a bargain.
Like-for-like retail sales rose by 0.9 per cent compared with November last year, when they increased by 0.6 per cent. This was also an improvement on October’s performance when retail sales were flat.
Total sales were up 2.2 per cent, against a 2.3 per cent rise in November 2013 – the best performance of the past three months – according to data out today by KPMG and the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Household appliances such as TVs was the best performing category followed by furniture and then homeware, as retailers including John Lewis and Argos offered discounts on hundreds of products.
David McCorquodale, KPMG’s head of retail, said: “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,” he said.
Separate figures out yesterday from Barclaycard showed online spend on Black Friday was double that of sales on an average shopping day and up 38 per cent on last year. British shoppers spent £810m on the day, according to retail analysts IMRG.
IHS Global Insight’s chief economist Howard Archer warned that while the data was good news for the sector, it had yet to see whether Black Friday has pulled forward sales from December.
“Retailers will be aware that extended low earnings growth has limited purchasing power and this may well keep them on their toes on the promotions front through December,” Archer said.
Food sales declined by 1.2 per cent in the three months to November. However this was a slight pick-up on the previous three months as supermarkets taking part in the Black Friday offers lured more shoppers into stores.