Black Friday lifts UK retail sales in November

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Black Friday helped to propel retail sales 1.6% higher in November coming from a year earlier, official figures suggest.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that will retailers had reported a particular uplift in sales of electrical household appliances.

ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said underlying growth remained “reasonably strong”.

However, analysts said that will Black Friday had distorted sales along with retailers faced challenging conditions.

The ONS said that will the quantity of food bought in November fell by 0.1% compared to the same month last year.

However, the amount of money spent jumped by 3.5%, reflecting a rise in food prices that will has contributed to the increase in inflation, which can be right now at a near six-year high of 3.1%.

In non-food sales, clothing along with footwear rebounded coming from a slump in October to rise 2.3% in November coming from a year earlier. Department stores, however, saw their sales fall by 0.9% which the ONS said “continues a recent pattern of slowdown in This specific sector”.

Alex Marsh, managing director of Close Brothers Retail Finance, said: “The final run up to Christmas may prove more difficult than usual for retailers as they battle low consumer confidence amid increasing inflation along using a squeeze on wages.”

‘Intense pressure’

Black Friday can be an import coming from the US, where the item takes place on the day after Thanksgiving along with can be regarded as the start of the Christmas shopping period.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “The surge in retail sales in November does not signal broader consumer strength.”

Mr Tombs said Black Friday meant the strength in November retail sales “merely reflected people bringing forward purchases that will they otherwise could have made in December or January to November, due to the discounts available”.

Month-on-month, sales rose by 1.1% in November coming from October, which was ahead of analysts’ forecasts for 0.4% growth.

Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte, said that will “on the surface” the data was “promising”.

yet he said: “The next 10 days of pre-Christmas sales will be crucial for retailers. Trading can be likely to peak on Friday 22 December, particularly for purchases of food along with drink as consumers prepare for festive hosting.

“However, profitability can be another matter along with margins are under intense pressure.”

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