UK retail sales plummet despite Black Friday and World Cup | Retail business

Retail sales fell unexpectedly in November as Black Friday discount deals and the FIFA World Cup failed to boost spending as the cost of living crisis forced households to cut budgets .

Sales in Britain fell 0.4% in November, against a forecast of a 0.3% rise by industry analysts, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Online retailers suffered a 2.8% drop in sales as shoppers shunned Black Friday deals to focus on early stockpiling of food and alcohol to spread the cost of Christmas.

“The fact that even the World Cup and Black Friday Christmas shopping can’t produce an increase in sales will be a big disappointment for retailers, especially given last month’s increase,” said Lynda Petherick, retail manager at Accenture UK and Ireland. “The holiday season may well be the last hurray for consumers as the New Year is likely to see them tighten their belts further, so retailers should do everything possible to make the most of this period.”

The ONS revised sales growth for October from 0.6% to 0.9% as retailers rebounded from a September weakened by store closures following the Queen’s death.

The ONS said that while Black Friday, which fell on November 25 this year, failed to boost spending, some businesses did benefit from an extended sales promotion period.

Department store sales volumes were up 1.7% month-over-month and sales volumes from home goods stores, such as furniture stores, were up 4.4%, offers for the whole of November having borne fruit. Clothing stores also reported a 2.1% increase in sales last month, mainly due to strong growth in shoe retailers.

“Department stores and home goods stores reported increased sales, with these retailers telling us that a longer Black Friday discount period helped boost sales,” said Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics. at the ONS.

However, overall non-food store sales volumes fell 0.6% due to a sharp decline in second-hand and computer store sales, which fell 6.2%.

While online deals failed to win over many consumers, grocery store sales rose 0.9% in November, benefiting from shoppers looking to spread the cost of Christmas shopping. However, sales volumes still remain 2.9% below pre-pandemic levels as shoppers watch spending with inflation at its highest level in four decades.

ONS statistics also show motor fuel sales fell 1.7% in November, from a 3.2% rise in October, due to higher prices at the pump.

Overall retail sales volume fell 6.2% in the three months to the end of November compared to the same period a year earlier.

“Individuals need to spend a greater proportion of their income on essentials like food and gas bills, which means less is left to spend on non-essential items as consumers reduce spending on clothing and in fuel,” said Victoria Scholar, chief investment officer at Interactive Investor. “It looks like it could be a Christmas of cuts for many families this year, while on the other hand, retailers are desperate for that much-needed seasonal increase in spending.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *