Retail sector boosted by Black Friday

Latest figures released as part of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor have indicated that the increase in activity caused by Black Friday provided a bo…

Latest figures released as part of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor have indicated that the increase in activity caused by Black Friday provided a boost for the sector.

The UK retail sector as a whole saw an increase of 0.9 per cent during last month, compared to a rise of 0.6 per cent during the same period last year. In terms of sales value, however, the rise was slightly less than last year – 2.2 per cent compared to 2.3 per cent.

An explanation for this has been attributed by the organisation to Black Friday – the American concept that sees retailers slashing prices for a limited time to coincide with the public holiday that follows Thanksgiving.

This led to greater sales volumes and more consumers in general hitting the shops on that particular day (November 27th). However, this did not directly translate to financial gain, with many simply opting for heavily reduced items they could get their hands on for a knock-down price.

Some have adjudged this to be evidence that while the UK economy and people's confidence in their finances is on the up, many still have very real concerns about debt management and personal finance on a day-to-day basis.

The data also gave an insight into how specific areas of the retail sector were affected by Black Friday. The biggest growth was found in the home appliances and electronics market – with consumers opting for the items where the biggest reductions had been applied, as opposed to looking for minimal discounts on products they buy more regularly.

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: "Consumers were reluctant to spend too much, too soon until a record breaking Black Friday helped to kick start festive spending."

By Amy White

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