UK retailers get a boost in November from sales of winter coats and hot water bottles

UK retailers benefit from a boost in November sales black Friday Discounts and cooler weather drove consumers to purchase winter coats, hot water bottles and hooded blankets, industry data showed.

In its latest snapshot of high street and online spending, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said sales rose last month compared to October, despite growing concern over the cost of living crisis.

Total sales increased 4.2% in November compared to the same month a year earlier, compared to an annual growth rate of 1.6% in October. However, the BRC warns that most of the increase is to the downside. skyrocketing inflation Inflating the cost of goods being sold, hiding weak sales volumes.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of BRC, said: “Sales marked the start of the festive shopping season as Black Friday discounts. However, sales growth remained well below current inflation, indicating that compared to last year Sales continued to decline.

As the season began to take a turn, retailers reported an increase in sales of winter clothing, while Black Friday boosted home goods sales as many households traded in nights out for budget nights.

Separate data from Barclaycard showed cold weather prompted more households to turn on their heating for the first time this season, causing spending on utilities to rise by 40.1% – up from a 36% increase in October above. Spending at takeaway and discount stores also increased.

The credit card provider, which processes around half of card transactions in the UK, said consumers were increasingly concerned about the impact of rising household bills on their personal finances.

While Barclaycard payments data showed transaction volumes on Black Friday were higher than in 2021, it said this growth may not continue into the traditional Christmas shopping season.

More than half plan to cut back on their spending this year, with 57% planning to cut back on gifts, and 45% cutting back on festive activities and socializing, according to a survey of more than 2,000 adults. have been

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The figures come with inflation above 11% as households struggle with higher energy bills and rising costs of the weekly shop, with food and non-alcoholic drink inflation at the highest level since 1977. belt, contributing to an economy falling into recession.

Paul Martin, head of UK retail at accountancy firm KPMG, said sales categories such as toys, computing and baby equipment had fallen for several consecutive months, even as the start of the festive season failed to reverse them.

“For some struggling retailers with consumer confidence and spending continuing to decline and costs rising, the next few weeks could be critical to their survival,” he said.

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