Black Friday drives record-breaking online sales

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Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew by 10.9% last month versus November last year where they increased 11.8%, driven in no small part by Black Friday trading.

In November, online sales represented 27.6% of total non-food sales in the UK, against 25.3% in November 2015. This is the highest non-food penetration rate on record, and the eleventh consecutive month that the rate has remained above 20%, a report by KPMG has revealed.

This is the third consecutive month of growth above 10%. The report showed that November’s growth was above the three month average of 10.7% and just ahead of the 12-month average of 10.8%.

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But over the three months to November, in-store sales fell, posting declines of 0.8% on a total basis and 1.1% on a like-for-like basis. For the month of November, in-store sales showed a decline.

The Black Friday sales period had managed to secure significant growth last year, making November a tough comparison. So this month’s figure of 10.9 per cent, slightly ahead of the long-term trend of 10.8 per cent, is positive,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of British Retail Consortium.

She continued: “With more than 1 in 4 pounds spent online, this was a record high for online non-food sales. Facilitated by the convenience of buying online, heavy sales periods, such as November, encourage an increasingly value- driven customer to shop around for price comparisons to fulfil their Christmas shopping list.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail for KPMG said: “There was an increased preference for shopping online this November, undoubtedly the result of the Black Friday shopping bonanza that has grown in popularity in the UK. Online sales grew by 10.9 per cent on last year and penetration rates for the month rose to a staggering 27.6 per cent. Shoppers were clearly happy to forgo the high street whilst hunting for bargains online.

“Retailers now face the challenge of processing the inevitable returns following the surge in sales, all too easily overlooked amidst the excitement of Black Friday. The pressure then turns to ensuring deliveries will make it under the Christmas tree in time.”

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