BRC-KPMG monitor data reveals flat December retail figures
Recent figures have shown that UK retail sales remained flat in December, with total sales up by only 1.0%.
The latest monthly BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor data revealed that non-food sales had their weakest month of growth since January 2013, increasing by just 1.5% on a three-months basis, and total food sales grew only 0.2%.
Black Friday impact
KPMG's head of retail David McCorquodale said that Black Friday 2015 had a big impact on consumer spending over the festive season, as it essentially stretched the traditional spending spread over a period of six weeks as opposed to two.
The weather also had a part to play, according to McCorquodale. "Fashion sales were the losers in December as mild weather deferred the need and wet weather deferred the inclination to try and buy a new winter outfit," he explained.
However, online sales once again saved the day for retailers, as non-food sales grew 15.1% in December year on year, well ahead of both 3-month and 12-month averages.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: "The boost from online was not enough to make this a Christmas to remember for most retailers," adding: "This is in part due to changing consumer shopping habits and the rising cost of doing business for retailers such as business rates and the national living wage due to be introduced in April."