UK retail sales slowed in October, according to a new report that suggests that some shoppers are holding off from spending until Black Friday.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said UK retail sales decreased 0.2% on a like-for-like basis from October 2014, when they were unchanged from the preceding year.

On a total basis, sales were up 0.9%, against a 1.4% rise in October 2014.


BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the prospect of discounts offered on Black Friday at the end of November may have impacted sales.

“October was a somewhat disappointing month overall for retailers, with just 0.9 per cent 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.

“Clothing also did well last month, driven by mid-season sales; however this may be to the detriment of retailers’ profit margins.”

Looking ahead, the BRC said retailers will be keeping a close eye on the Autumn Statement at the end of November in the hopes the Chancellor extends relief on business rates.

“With the Chancellor due to publish both the Autumn Statement and Spending Review in just a few weeks’ time, the Government has an opportunity to help UK retailers to invest in growth and create new jobs by reducing the disproportionate burden of business rates and keep going with the structural review,” added Dickinson.