Black Friday deals anticipation slows October retail figures, shows report
The latest figures from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor suggest that consumers might have been holding back for looming Black Friday deals.
According to the report, like-for-like retail sales in October fell 0.2% year on year. However, total food sales bucked the trend by growing 0.5% over the three months leading up to October and by 0.3% year on year to achieve their best performance since July 2014.
Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium chief executive, commented on the new figures: “October was a somewhat disappointing month overall for retailers, with just 0.9% growth, slower than the three and twelve month averages.”
“A number of categories which we’d typically expect to be popular on Black Friday saw a slowdown in October, suggesting that some shoppers may be holding out in the hope of some great deals at the end of November," Dickinson added.
Although food sales on average increased by half a point, meaning they were more or less static in real terms, improvements over both three and twelve month averages show a positive trend.
Whatever the Chancellor reveals in his Autumn Statement is sure to affect retail in the UK economy, and all eyes are keeping track on whether or not George Osbourne will extend relief on business rates.
Head of retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale, summed up the current situation by saying: “October certainly looks to have slowed on the high street, with many retailers probably feeling more tricked than treated as sales were relatively flat overall. The grocery market continues its decline in like-for-likes but the trends are improving month by month."