Respite for UK retailers as sales rise more than expected in November

Retailers achieved better than expected sales last month thanks in part to Black Friday.

New figures from The Office for National Statistics show sales increased 1.4% from October, beating the 0.3% predicted rise experts forecasted.

However, in the three months to November, retail sales grew just 0.4% from the previous quarter and some traders are concerned the remainder of the winter will bring more hardship.

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ONS also revealed that online sales now make up more than 20% of all retail sales. This is the first time the proportion has risen above 20%, which is a concern for some physical retailers.

While Black Friday promotions are thought to have benefited a lot of retail sectors, Richard Stables, chief executive officer of price comparison site Kelkoo, said shoppers “abandoned” the high street over the period.

“It’s no surprise that online sales now accounts for a record segment of the UK’s retail market – surpassing 20% of the total sales figure for the first time.

“The challenge high street retailers face is ensuring that they have learnt from Black Friday and offer a user experience that customers actually want.”

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