Monday, 20 August, 2018

High street Christmas slump fuelled by Black Friday sales boost

Worst Xmas in five years for the High Street Retailers experienced the lowest sales growth since 2013 last year
Orlando Vargas | 20 January, 2018, 04:45

United Kingdom retail sales fell steeply on the month in December, new figures showed Friday, with Britons paring back spending after taking advantage of Black Friday discounts the previous month.

"The data add to signs that rising prices and stubbornly weak pay growth continue to erode consumer spending power and will act as a drag on the economy in 2018", said Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit.

United Kingdom retail sales plunged in December, as shoppers pulled back from spending after the excesses of Black Friday, data from the Office for National Statistics released on Friday showed.

Retail sales fell more sharply than expected in the core Christmas month, capping the worst December performance for volumes since 2010.

It has grown substantially in popularity in the United Kingdom in recent years, with nearly all retailers now running some sort of Black Friday sale.

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The fall followed a 1.0% monthly increase in November, driven by Black Friday discounts as well as by Britons' early Christmas purchases, government statisticians said. Unfortunately for British retail, the long term trend isn't great either.

Consumer spending growth slowed past year to it's slowest since 2013 as the squeeze on wages filtered through to the high street, Office for National Statistics figures revealed today.

For 2017 as a whole, retail sales increased by 1.9 percent, which was the lowest annual growth since 2013.

Even though the data are seasonally adjusted, he noted that ONS process has not yet adjusted for the new pattern of spending since Black Friday took off in Britain in 2014, with the decline in non-store retailing non-food sales consistent with this.

"Northern Ireland retailers look to have performed slightly better than the United Kingdom average, possibly caused by a strengthening local economy and the added benefit of cross-border shoppers from ROI taking advantage of the their increased buying power".

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