A survey by the British Retail Consortium and Big 4 accountants KPMG has found that retail sales fell 0.4% on a like-for-like basis in the UK in November.
In the same month last year, they had increased 0.9% from the previous year. However, on an overall basis, total sales were up 0.7% last month, but that is to be measured against a 2.2% rise in November of last year.
A further breakdown of the data reveals that total food sales grew 0.1% over the quarter ending in November, with a total increase of 0.3% over the 12-month period.
Non-food sales were up 3.5% over the quarter, which was better than the 12-month average increase of 2.9%. When it came to the UK's online sales of non-food products, there was an increase of 11.8% year on year.
Head of retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale, said: "November's relatively flat sales figures are a reality check for the retail sector with consumers holding off for a Black Friday bargain pitted against retailers determined to hold onto their hard-earned margins."
"The result was that, despite the hype around Black Friday, there was minimal loosening of the family purse strings compared to last year and retailers, facing significant cost increases next year, will be striving to wean UK shoppers off the discounting drug," McCorquodale added.
Chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, Samuel Tombs, explained that the "generous discounting" many stores provided for Black Friday in the UK this year seemingly failed to give any boost to sales volumes.
Tombs went on to explain that consumer confidence had been falling for three months in a row, and this indicated that the retail sales recovery appears to be slowing down.
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