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Shoppers “holding out” for Black Friday


October’s retail sales were largely flat which could be due to shoppers waiting to see if the goods they want are included in Black Friday’s promotions.

A survey by the BRC found that UK retail sales fell by 0.2% on a like-for-like basis from October 2014, while it had previously been unchanged from the year before. Overall sales were up 0.9%, yet sales in October the year before rose by 1.4%. Total growth was 2.7%.

The “total growth was below the three-month average of 1.8% and the 12-month average of 1.9%” said BRC.

The BRC also noted that sales of consumer electricals and toys, products that are generally popular on Black Friday, slowed down during October. In addition, the fact that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year resulted in poor weekend trading.

While the majority of retail sales were poor, “total food sales grew 0.5% over the three months to October, and 0.3% over the 12 months, which was its best performance since July 2014”, said the BRC.

“October certainly looks to have slowed on the high-street, with many retailers probably feeling more tricked than treated as sales were relatively flat overall” commented David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG.

“October was a somewhat disappointing month overall for retailers, said Helen Dickinson, BRC’s Chief Executive. “A number of categories which we’d typically expect to be popular on Black Friday saw a slowdown in October, suggesting that some shoppers may be holding out in the hope of some great deals at the end of November.

“With the Chancellor due to publish both the Autumn Statement and Spending Review in just a few weeks’ time, the government has an opportunity to help UK retailers to invest in growth and create new jobs by reducing the disproportionate burden of business rates and keep going with the structural review” she added.

Published on Tuesday 10 November by Talya Misiri

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