November sales get a boost as consumers get ready for Christmas

Sales picked up as Black Friday discounting marked the beginning of the festive shopping season last month.

This according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor, which reported that in the four weeks 30 October to 26 November 2022, total sales increased by 4.2 per cent against an increase of five per cent in November 2021, and like-for-like UK retail sales jumped by 4.1 per cent from the same period last year.

Despite total non-food retail sales being flat last month (0 per cent), in-store sales of non-food items saw an increase of 2.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent like-for-like against November 2021. (Sales figures are not adjusted for inflation).

“Household appliances, footwear and furniture saw positive sales growth both in store and online as consumers sought out good deals and started to prepare for Christmas gatherings at home,” commented Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG. “This was a much-needed boost both on the high street and online.”

“As we enter the last crucial few weeks of the year, retailers will be hoping that consumers continue to focus on the Christmas feel-good factor. Retailers are well aware that in the current environment it is a battle to attract and retain every customer.”

Mr Martin added that, given the economic headwinds for the year ahead, with consumer behaviour expected to evolve further, understanding and meeting customer needs “will be mission critical for retailers, and it’s a job that keeps getting harder”, he said.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, agreed: “Despite facing huge cost pressures, retailers are doing all they can to keep prices affordable for all their customers. But, the cost of living crisis means many families might dial back their festive plans. Yet, with three weeks to go, there is still plenty of time for the Christmas cheer to bring sales home this Christmas.”