UK Retail Sales Growth Slows in November

UK’s retail sales growth slowed in November, following a jump in the previous month, as shoppers delayed purchases to the very end of the month to benefit from so-called Black Friday discounts, an industry survey showed.

Total retail sales rose 1.3% last month after gaining 2.4% in October, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said on Tuesday. The November pace of expansion was slightly below the three-month average of 1.6%. On a same-store basis sales rose 0.6% fro ma year earlier. The BRC survey covered the four weeks to Nov. 26.

British retailers have copied a tradition established by their US counterparts to begin offering discounts ahead of Christmas on the weekend following the US Thanksgiving holiday.

“Whilst the figure isn’t spectacular, it’s a pretty solid performance in what has been a challenging year for sales in the UK,” Helen Dickinson, chief executive of BRC said.

BRC figures confirm that the week including Black Friday saw non-food sales up around 40% compared with the other weeks of the month, Dickinson said, adding that compared to last year sales were down on last year in the weeks prior to Nov. 25.