Black Friday boosts retail sales – but not in home electricals

UK retail sales rose in November compared with the year before, according to the latest report from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.

Sales between 31 October and 27 November rose by an impressive five per cent compared with the same period in 2020, the report found. This was well above growth of 0.9 per cent noted in November 2020, and exceeds the three-month average growth rate of 2.2 per cent.

Over the three months to November, non-food retail sales rose 3.9 per cent on a total basis and 0.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis when compared with the same period a year before, according to the report.

Interestingly, online non-food sales decreased by 17.9 per cent during November this year, compared to last year when the UK was in lockdown. This shows many more consumers hit the streets last month in search of pre-Christmas and Black Friday bargains.

The home appliances category saw like-for-like sales performance down against November 2020.

BRC Chief Executive, Helen Dickinson, said: “As people prepared their wardrobes for the cold weather this winter, consumers took advantage of discounted clothing, shifting the focus of Black Friday from just electronics and household appliances.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, added that consumers determined to enjoy Christmas hit the high street in November… “whilst limited Black Friday promotions saw big purchases for the home and on technology put on hold as sales continued to fall in these categories.

“The high street dominated sales growth during November as consumers buoyed by the continued roll-out of the vaccine programme, and eager to ensure they secured the gifts they want for Christmas, headed for physical stores to do their festive shopping.”