BRC: UK retail sales in September increased by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis from September 2016

LONDON, UK, 2017-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Covering the four weeks 27 August – 30 September 2017

  • In September, UK retail sales increased by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis from September 2016, when they had increased 0.4% from the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales rose 2.3% in September, against a growth of 1.3% in September 2016. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of 2.1% and 1.7% respectively.
  • Over the three months to September 2017, In-store sales of Non-Food items declined 1.5% on a Total basis and 2.0% on a Like-for-like basis.
  • Over the three months to September, Food sales increased 2.5% on a like-for-like basis and 3.5% on a total basis. This remains above the 12-month Total average growth of 2.9%, the highest 12-month average since August 2013.
  • Over the three-months to September, Non-Food retail sales in the UK increased 0.5% on a like-for-like basis and 0.9% on a total basis, above the 12-month Total average growth of 0.7%.
  • Online sales of Non-Food products grew 10.7% in September, above both the 3-month and 12-month averages of 10.0% and 8.8% respectively. Online penetration rate increased from 21.5% in September 2016 to 22.4% in September 2017, the highest penetration rate since January.

 

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium

“September saw a second consecutive month of relatively good sales growth which should indicate welcome news for retailers and the economy alike. Looking beneath the surface though, we see that much of this growth is being driven by price increases filtering through, particularly in food and clothing, which were the highest performing product categories for the month. Retailers have worked hard to keep a lid on price rises following the depreciation of the pound, but with a potent mix of more expensive imports and increasing business costs from various government policies, something had to give at some point.

“From a consumer perspective, spending is still being focussed towards essential purchases; with consumers buying their winter coats and back to school items, but shying away from big ticket items such as furniture and delaying the renewal of key household electrical goods.  Online has been the biggest beneficiary of the resilience in consumer spending capacity in the last two months, sustaining a return to double digit year on year growth figures as shoppers responded well to discounts and the ongoing investment by retailers in improving the mobile shopping experience.

“September’s overall growth may increase the likelihood of an uplift in interest rates in November. So with stronger headwinds brewing, its vital government keep a tight lid on those costs under its control, which impact on retailers, the cost of doing business and ultimately consumers. The Chancellor has a great opportunity to do just that in his upcoming budget by not adding yet another rise on the business rates bill of every retailer in the country.”

Paul Martin, Head of Retail | KPMG UK

“September’s performance will have left many retailers with smiles on their faces, with sales up 1.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis, compared to last year.

“Children’s clothing clearly hit the mark as one of the leading categories in the month, whilst the August bank holiday and favourable autumnal weather lent a helping hand to non-food sales. Grocers will also be feeling the warmth having performed particularly well, as food and drink remains in high demand with shoppers – although food price inflation continues to be a key driver of this growth.”

“Non-food online sales continued to soar with double digit growth, outpacing the uptick seen on the high street.

“However, with potential interest rate rises on the horizon, shaky consumer confidence and ever increasing levels of household debt, uncertainty remains. We’re now moving into the final quarter, which will ultimately define whether 2017 has been a good or bad year for retailers.”

Food & Drink sector performance | Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive | IGD

“September was a consistently strong month for food and grocery sales with little variation from week to week. This extends the good run from spring into autumn, albeit driven more by rising prices than volumes.

“After several months of inflation, a growing number of people are taking more time to hunt down value. Just under half (46 per cent) of shoppers now say they usually look for the cheapest products, even if it takes more time, versus 40 per cent in March.”

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium

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BRC: UK retail sales in May down by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from May 2016

London, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ —

BRC – KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR MAY 2017

Covering the four weeks 30 April – 27 May 2017​

  • In May, UK retail sales decreased by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from May 2016, when they had increased 0.5% from the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales rose 0.2% in May, against a growth of 1.4% in May 2016. This is the lowest since January, excluding Easter distortions, and below the 3-month and 12-month averages of 1.9% and 1.2% respectively.
  • Over the three months to May, Food sales increased 3.2% on a like-for-like basis and 4.3% on a total basis. This is the strongest 3-month average since February 2012, excluding Easter distortions. This pulls the 12-month Total average growth to 2.2%, the highest since January 2014.
  • Over the three-months to May, Non-Food retail sales in the UK decreased 0.3% on a like-for-like basis and increased 0.1% on a total basis, below the 12-month Total average growth to 0.5%. May’s Total Non-Food performance was the worst recorded since May 2011.
  • Over the three-months to May, Online sales of Non-Food products grew 7.0% while In-store sales declined 1.8% on a Total basis and 2.3% on a like-for-like basis, below the like-for-like 12-month average decline of 2.0%.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium said: “After the pick-up in sales over Easter, consumer spending slowed again in May resulting in almost flat growth on the previous year. Underneath the headlines, there’s continued variation in the performance of food versus non-food products, as sales performance of the two become increasingly polarised. Food sales, albeit positively distorted by inflation, continue to see annual growth, while in non-food categories which are predominantly capturing discretionary spending, retailers find themselves having to compete even harder.

“Overall, May’s sales slowdown is indicative of a longer term trend of a decline in consumer spending power. As household budgets become increasingly squeezed by inflation, predominantly in the non-retail part of the consumer basket, it’s vital that the next Government helps retailers keep prices low for ordinary shoppers. This means, as well as securing a tariff-free trade deal with the EU, negotiating frictionless customs arrangements; providing certainty for EU colleagues working in the UK; and ensuring the continuity of existing EU legislation as it transfers into UK law.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail | KPMG said:

“After the surge in retail sales last month – the by-product of this year’s relatively late Easter – retailers have been brought back down to earth with a thump. Like-for-like retail sales contracted in May, which is likely to represent a more accurate depiction of the state of UK retail currently.

“The impact of inflationary pressures on the nation’s purse continues to play out in this month’s figures, with shoppers evidently spending more on food and drink than on non-food purchases. With inflation continuing to rise and wage growth stagnating, consumers are starting to feel the pinch – although the highly competitive nature of the UK grocery market continues to play out in the consumer’s favour.

“Many retailers, particularly fashion stores, will be poised and ready to make the most of the upcoming summer, so hopefully the weather will play fair. An increased focus on managing costs will dominate the retail agenda. More imminently though, eyes will be firmly placed on the outcome of the General Election, with close attention being paid to the implications it might have on the industry.”

Food & Drink sector performance | Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive | IGD said:

“Food and drink sales were again strong in May, not quite reaching the heights of average growth from the previous two months, but maintaining the trend for year-on-year growth. This was mainly attributable to inflation combined with warm weather in the run-up to the late May bank holiday. The sustained sunshine saw beers, wines and spirits enjoy double-digit growth.

“With no big summer event beyond the regular schedule this year, sales over the next few months will hinge largely on the weather. Hot conditions encourage impulse buying. For instance, over a third (34 per cent) of shoppers say they tend to revert at the last minute to a barbecue when the weather is good.”

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UK retail sales rose by 2.6% in January 2016 vs the same month last year – BRC-KPMG

  • UK retail sales rose by 2.6% on a like-for-like basis from January 2015, when they had increased 0.2% from the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 3.3%, against a 1.6% rise in January 2015. This is the best growth since September, firmly ahead of the 3-month average of 1.6% and the 12-month average of 1.9%.
  • Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 5.1%.
  • All product categories contributed to the growth, apart from Food, which turned slightly negative but the 3-month and 12-month averages for Food stayed unchanged from last month. Furniture topped the growth rankings table, a particularly strong achievement in the most important month of the year for the category.
  • Online sales of Non-Food products grew 14.9% in January versus a year earlier, when they had grown 11.7%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 21.5%, up 1.4 percentage points from January 2015.

LONDON, 2016-Feb-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “Following on from a somewhat disappointing Christmas period for retailers, the new year kicked off to a strong start, with 3.3 per cent growth across all product categories and 2.6 per cent growth on like-for-like sales. This was the best performance for retailers since September and ahead of the three and twelve month averages.

“January’s performance was driven by big-ticket items, in particular furniture, which is encouraging in the largest month of the year for the category. However, the performance in clothing and footwear was driven by the New Year sales. After seeing a slight recovery in December, food sales were once again slightly down in January, while the mildly positive longer term trends were unchanged.

“Retailers will welcome the positive start to what will be a momentous year for the industry. Next month the Treasury will report back on its long awaited review of the business rates system. This is the moment for the government to rebalance this tax away from property intensive industries in order to ensure that the introduction of the living wage does not have unintended consequences on our local communities and jobs .”

David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Fashion and the home drove retail sales to beat the January blues, up 2.6 per cent in the month on a like-for-like basis. After a slow start to the Autumn/Winter season, fashion and footwear sales soared in the early half of the month as promotional pricing caught the eye.

“Furniture and home accessories continued their strong run as the improving property market enjoys its makeover. Following a fairly admirable Christmas, January was also a reasonable month for the grocers with total food and drink sales remaining in the black, just, for the three months November to January.

“Heading into February, retailers will be turning attention to the next big promotional event in the calendar, Valentine’s Day and hoping to take a decent share of consumer spend as they’ll be facing stiff competition from both the experiential and leisure sectors.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

BRC-KPMG: UK retail sales increased 2.6% in Sep 2015 vs the same month 2014

– UK retail sales increased 2.6% on a like-for-like basis from September 2014, when they had decreased 2.1% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 3.9%, against a 0.8% fall in September 2014. This is the fastest growth since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 5.8%.

– The inclusion of the Bank Holiday into the September period positively distorted the figures of the back-to-school-sensitive categories, particularly the fashion and home categories. September’s figures were also flattered by a soft comparable period last year.

– Total Food sales grew 0.2% over the 3 months to September, in line with their twelve-month average, which reported its best performance since July 2014. On a 3-month basis, total Non-Food sales were up 3.7%, ahead of their 12-month average of 3.3%.

– Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 14.2% in September versus a year earlier, when they had grown 8.2%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 17.7%, up from 17.2% in September 2014.

LONDON, 2015-10-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive Officer, British Retail Consortium, said: “September was a bright month for retail, with the strongest sales performance since January of last year, excluding Easter distortions. However, sales growth was boosted by the August Bank Holiday, which fell in this period as opposed to August last year, shifting back-to-school sales into September, so such strong growth is likely to be overstated. September’s figures were also flattered by a soft comparable period last year, which was the worst performance of 2014. The three month average growth for non-food was 3.7 per cent, ahead of the 3.3 per cent twelve month average. Furniture was September’s top performing category, with the highest sales seen since April of 2014. Footwear, the second best performing category, had its best performance since March of last year.

“There was good news for food sales too, thanks in no small part to the Rugby World Cup. Food had, in real terms, its highest twelve month average sales since February of 2011, which is particularly positive news following a prolonged period of decline. Retailers are seeing some improved consumer demand but they continue to operate in a very competitive environment. They are looking to Government to lighten the excessive tax burden they face.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “With the summer bank holiday falling into September, top line trends for the month were inevitably inflated with total sales up 3.9 per cent compared to 2014. However, taking the 3 months July to September, total sales across all categories also showed a bounce back, up 2.2 per cent in the period suggesting a stronger finish to the British summer overall.

“Fashion sales were given a particular boost in September with more autumnal weather encouraging shoppers to check out the new season ranges and last minute back-to-school purchases lifting sales of children’s clothes and shoes. Home and furniture also benefited from the bank holiday timing as consumers took the opportunity to fit in a bit of redecorating.

“Despite the start of the Rugby World Cup encouraging people to get the beers and burgers in, food and drink sales showed no signs of accelerating in the three months July to September. Grocers will be hoping that consumers will continue to revel in the atmosphere in spite of England’s early exit from the tournament.
“Moving into the final quarter of 2015, retailers will be keeping a watchful eye on Christmas with the launch of festive campaigns starting to wet consumers’ appetites and Black Friday expected to be big again.”

Food & Drink sector performance – Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD, said: “In recent months food and drink sales have tended to vary a little above or a little below last year’s figure, and September’s performance was almost flat. However, this disguises a huge amount of change taking place. The UK grocery market continues to provide shoppers with more options, including food to go, online, discount and convenience shopping. The major players are also investing in revitalising their stores. The result is three quarters of grocery shoppers are very satisfied with their overall experience; 57 per cent say they like shopping for food, up from 43 per cent seven years ago.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

BRC-KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR JUNE 2015: UK retail sales increased 1.8% on a like-for-like basis from June 2014

– UK retail sales increased 1.8% on a like-for-like basis from June 2014, when they had decreased 0.8% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.9%, against a 0.6% rise in June 2014. This is the strongest growth since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions and compares with a 12-month average of 1.6%. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 4.2%.

– Total Food sales grew again in June for the seventh month in a row, excluding Easter distortions, ahead of their 0.3% decline over the last 12 months. Total Non-Food sales grew 2.6% over the 3 months to June, close to their 12-month average growth of 3.1%.

– Toys & Baby Equipment was the best performing category, helped by outdoor toys, particularly in the last week of the month, when the heat wave stimulated the sales of all seasonal items. Fashion categories were helped by several retailers going into summer sale earlier than last year.

– Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 17.6% in June versus a year earlier, when they had grown 10.6%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 18.4%, up from 16.9% in June 2014.

LONDON, 2015-7-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “The retail industry performed strongly last month, experiencing the best overall sales growth in eighteen months, excluding Easter distortions, albeit on the back of a weak June last year. Food sales grew for the seventh month in a row, while June also brought with it a boost for the non-food categories, with furniture doing particularly well. Fashion sales were also up, but this was likely helped by several retailers entering summer sales a little earlier this year. The last week of June ended the month on a high note, with seasonal items like outdoor toys in high demand.

“We saw welcome signs of growing consumer confidence, with people more willing to ‘trade-up’ and spend a bit more on big-ticket purchases, likely boosted by the growth in the supply of credit and other factors such as low inflation and rising real incomes. Some of the measures outlined by the Chancellor in last week’s budget are likely to help boost consumer confidence even further, with measures like the continued freeze in fuel duty and the increased personal tax allowance ensuring consumers have more money in their pockets to spend. We also welcome the Chancellor’s focus on increasing productivity. This is of crucial importance to enhancing retailers’ ability to continue to serve their customers better.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “As the Wimbledon tennis championships got underway, June served up an ace for sales of non-food items. After cooler May weather had dampened fashion sales, the glorious sunshine and some significant promotional activity this month lured consumers into a rush to update summer wardrobes. Men’s fashion and footwear sales were also given a particular boost as Dads were treated to something special on Father’s Day.

“Elsewhere, sales of Toys & Baby Equipment bounced up towards the end of the month with seasonal outdoor ranges such as paddling pools and trampolines soaring as consumers looked to make the most of June’s heatwave. The grocers continued to fight to make headway against a deflationary tide. The quarterly decline is distorted by the timing of Easter and I expect to see a better picture emerge next month.

“Moving into July, many eyes will be trained on sector share prices after the market reacted strongly to a number of surprise announcements, particularly around the living wage, in the Chancellor’s Summer Budget. However, with Murray-mania having once again swept the nation, another heatwave on the horizon, and school holidays imminent, retailers will be hoping that the nation’s feel good factor will continue all summer long.”

Food & Drink sector performance – Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD, said: “June’s food and drink sales were encouraging, especially if judged against the same time last year when the men’s football World Cup provided a brief boost to sales. The heatwave in the final week definitely helped this year’s performance.
“Wages have now outpaced inflation for eight consecutive months and although a quarter (26 per cent) of shoppers still expect their personal finances to deteriorate over the next 12 months, this is a big improvement on the 47 per cent predicting the same in June 2012. With deflation also easing, there are various reasons to believe that food retail sales might have turned a corner although optimism is tempered by the many uncertainties in the global economy.”

Online % change
year-on-year
June 2015 17.6%
June 2014 10.6%
6m average 12.7%
12m average 12.6%

NOTE: More details about online sales can be found in the Online RSM published simultaneously with the RSM.

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

BRC-KPMG March 2015: UK retail sales increased by 3.2% on a like-for-like basis from March 2014

– UK retail sales increased by 3.2% on a like-for-like basis from March 2014, when they had decreased 1.7% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 4.7%, against a 0.3% fall in March 2014. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 6.8%. The figures are flattered by the inclusion of Easter in March this year against April last year.

– Total Food sales experienced their strongest growth since July 2013, helped by the Easter distortion. Growth was also strong in the home categories but subdued in the fashion ones.

– Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 12.3% in March versus a year earlier, when it had grown 12.8%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 17.6%, up from 16.9% in March 2014.

LONDON, 2015-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “People hit the high street in March as the three month average showed that brick and mortar stores have contributed more to growth than online sales – the first time since August 2014. Looking at retail as a whole, there was a 4.7 per cent bump in sales, strengthened by the inclusion of Easter but underpinned by slow but steady growth.

“An increase in consumers venturing out to shop can be expected at this time of year and although this period is often difficult to measure due to Easter distortions, we saw a marked increase in sales across home categories including Furniture and Household Appliances, even though fashion sales were a bit subdued. As could be expected during Easter, shoppers had a greater appetite for food with a 1.8 per cent increase in sales over the last three months.

“All-in-all, retailers can also be satisfied with the consumer response to their Mother’s Day and Easter offerings, but it is important to note that April figures will be impacted by the absence of Easter this year.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “An early Easter and better economic news helped lift retail sales out of the doldrums in March and the sector posted the strongest sales growth seen in nearly a year.
“While the figures are inflated by the timing of Easter, they are still a welcome boost for retailers who have battled flat or falling like for like sales for the last quarter. As anticipated furniture and home accessory retailers were the major beneficiaries of the bank holiday break, seeing sales soar as shoppers focussed on the home and garden.

Signs of recovery were also seen in the grocers’ figures, who are mounting a slow but steady fight back. However price deflation continues to dog the sector, and while supermarkets may be selling more, they are peddling hard to stand still. Demand is definitely pushing in the right direction, but there is a long way to go before like for like food sales are back in positive territory.

“Any retail recovery is built on confidence and uncertainty around the outcome of the election continues to cast a shadow over the long term recovery of the sector. If the result causes concern and confusion this could be the factor that stifles consumer spending.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

BRC-KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR JANUARY 2015: UK retail sales increased by 0.2% on a like-for-like basis from January 2014

LONDON, 2015-2-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK retail sales increased by 0.2%, on a like-for-like basis from January 2014, when they had increased 3.9% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.6%, against a 5.4% rise in January 2014 and above the 12-month average of 1.4%.

Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 2.9%.

Total Food sales grew for the second consecutive month in January and showed a 0.2% rise over the last three months, its best performance since February 2014. The Non-Food performance was helped by the continuation of end-of-season sales into January.

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.7% in January versus a year earlier, when it had grown 19.2%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 18.4%, up from 16.8% in January 2014.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Retail sales have continued to grow with January reporting a respectable 1.6 per cent increase. Looking into the numbers a little more closely gives us even more cause for optimism – last year retailers had a bumper January so to see growth against such a tough comparison shows the industry to be in rude health. Customers were offered attractive bargains on winter ranges but it remains to be seen at what cost to the retailers’ margins.

“Shoppers were in the mood to buy products aimed at helping them lead a healthier lifestyle – from fruit and veg to exercise equipment, all these kinds of products have been selling strongly. Given the time of year this is no surprise and retailers have capitalised by making sure they have the right stock, at the right price to help consumers achieve their New Year goals.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “After a subdued December, retailers experienced a semi-revival in fortunes as shoppers took advantage of the bargains on offer in the January sales. The clothing, toys and household appliances sectors particularly benefitted from this spending spree, notching up year-on-year growth against tough comparables from the year before.

“These figures clearly demonstrate the difficult cycle that retailers are trapped in. Demand is now almost solely driven by discounts, with shoppers very reluctant to buy goods at full price in the hope that yet another sale could be just around the corner. This promotion-led environment risks becoming the new normal: retailers are struggling to persuade consumers to break the habit and go back to the traditional sales cycle.

“The grocery sector saw its first growth in three-month average total sales since the first half of last year – an encouraging sign from the battlefield. With consumers benefitting from lower fuel and petrol prices, retailers are fighting for their share of these savings.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

BRC-KPMG Retail Sales December 2014: UK retail sales declined by 0.4% vs December 2013

LONDON, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK retail sales declined by 0.4%, on a like-for-like basis from December 2013, when they had increased 0.4% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.0%, against a 1.8% rise in December 2013. This is the slowest December growth since December 2008.

Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, total growth was 2.6% (rounded), matching the December 2013 level, which was the highest since December 2009.

In December total Food sales grew for the first time since April. Over the last three months, Food showed a decline of 0.3%. The Non-Food performance was helped by the cyber-week and the end-of-season sales, particularly fashion.

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 7.0% in December versus a year earlier, when it had grown 19.2%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 17.0%, up from 16.0% in December 2013.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “The figures for December show that the British public were in a shopping mood with total sales up one per cent on the same period last year. The Black Friday feeling continued into early December as customers bagged great deals on their Christmas gifts. The Boxing Day and End of Season sales also contributed to December’s positive performance.

“It’s also worth noting that this has been the best month for food sales since Easter with many of us opting increasingly for premium ranges for our festive fare.

“It’s clear that targeted discounting has worked for the UK’s retailers – prices have been cut just enough to encourage customers through the doors but not so much that sales growth has been completely choked off. In one of the most fiercely competitive retail environments in recent years, retailers will be encouraged by the fact their strategy for December appears to have paid off.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Extensive discounting disrupted the timing and rhythm of Christmas spending. Between Black Friday and Boxing Day retailers and consumers engaged in a three week dance, each waiting for the other to take the lead and as a result sales suffered.

“It’s now clear that Black Friday did pull festive sales forward into November, and this created a challenging lull in spending with consumers waiting for future bargains. This situation did not reverse until the week of Christmas. The launch of Boxing Day sales mixed with new season full price stock saw some phenomenal spending, with fashion retailers achieving double digit growth.

“The grocers had rather a commendable Christmas, given the persistent price deflation that has dogged the sector throughout the year. Food sales reached a respectable level in December and the three month average has climbed to -0.3 per cent, from a low in September of -1.7 per cent.

“This difficult stop/start sales environment has been undoubtedly challenging, but most retailers have managed to achieve a flat, but respectable, sales performance this Christmas: time will tell on margins.

“2015 is likely to bring more of the same, and the big four grocers have already signalled they will cut prices to secure sales. Non-food retailers will fare better, but whilst consumer confidence remains fragile, these too are vulnerable to shocks, be they political or economic.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk

BRC-KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR NOVEMBER 2014: UK retail sales grew 0.9%, on a like-for-like basis from November 2013, when they had increased 0.6% on the preceding year

LONDON, 2014-12-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK retail sales grew 0.9%, on a like-for-like basis from November 2013, when they had increased 0.6% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.2%, against a 2.3% rise in November 2013. This is the best performance in three months.

Household Appliances was the best performing category, testament to a successful Black Friday, followed by Furniture and the home categories.

Over the last three months, Food showed a decline of 1.2%. Even though November was the seventh consecutive month of decline, there was an improvement over the three months to October.

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 12.0% in November versus a year earlier, when it had grown 16.0%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 21.0% in November, the highest on record.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “November’s retail sales demonstrate continued growth in sales across the board compared to last month. The huge demand for bargain TV’s and other household appliances on Black Friday, whether for personal use or as presents meant that electricals were the stand out category in terms of sales growth. However retailers also took advantage of the increased footfall generated by Black Friday to sell clothing, effectively bringing forward the start of Christmas sales reductions of autumn/ winter stock.

“That being said, customers also bought full priced items and showed interest in premium ranges particularly in food and retailers who didn’t discount for Black Friday also saw increased sales. These are encouraging signs in the run up to Christmas when consumers will likely want to push the boat out even more.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Consumers were reluctant to spend too much, too soon until a record breaking Black Friday helped to kick start festive spending. Fashion and footwear retailers used this occasion to recover some lost ground but at a cost to their margin. Sales of electrical goods were strong all month and positively rocketed with Black Friday offers. “Sadly some retailers fell short of the mark, with websites crashing under the pressure of shoppers hunting for a bargain. Resolving these issues must be a priority: consumers go online to avoid queues, not join them. Glimmers of hope were seen in the grocery sector and the sales decline was less sharp than in previous months. While it won’t be a bumper Christmas for this segment, grocers will hope their sales will be on a par with last year. “After years of slow growth this Christmas could be a cracker for the retail sector, with sales surpassing last year’s levels. Online sales will be launched as early as Christmas Day and shoppers will be able to pick up a bargain while tucking into their turkey.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.