You are here: Home - Credit Cards & Loans - News -

Retail sales show unexpected bounce

Written by:
UK retail sales showed surprising strength in November, beating economists’ forecasts by a significant margin.

After a lacklustre October, sales jumped 1.4% in November, equivalent to an annualised rise of 3.6%. Retail sales were supported by sales of household goods, which rose 5.3% over the month.

This is likely to have been a result of Black Friday deals, with consumers taking advantage of discounted prices to snap up white goods and other electricals.

Retailers said spending patterns continued to shift to sales occurring earlier in the year. The trend to online continues, with online sales as a proportion of all retailing exceeding 20% for the first time.

These stronger figures will provide some cheer for troubled retailers. On Monday, online retailer ASOS saw its shares crash 38% after a profit warning. The company had previously predicted full-year sales growth of 20-25%, and now expects growth of just 15%. At the same time, its profit margins halved as discounting became widespread.

The retail sector has been weak all year, with a number of retailers filing for bankruptcy and others, such as House of Fraser, succumbing to a takeover.

Ed Monk, associate director for Personal Investing at Fidelity International, said: “Christmas literally came early for UK retail, with sales in November jumping 5% in value and 3.6% in quantity compared to a year ago. That’s not unexpected given that November was boosted by Black Friday, which has brought forward the traditional Christmas sales glut by a month.

“It’s welcome news after a tough year for UK retail sector which has been undermined by tepid wage growth and Brexit worries. Traditional retailers with a presence on the High Street have been most at risk, and Fidelity’s real estate team predicts a steep fall in retail rents and property values because retailers simply cannot afford the high prices of rent on the high street.

“But we see today that many retailers aren’t putting up good fight. Their strategy thus far has been to extend Black Friday with early discounting throughout the month. That’s a squeeze on profits but good news, at least, for consumers who are finding more affordable prices.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

It’s time to get your finances in shape, and moving your cash savings to a higher paying deal is a good plac...

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

The experts’ guide to sorting out your personal finances in 2021

From opting to ‘low spend’ months to imposing your own ‘cooling-off period’, industry experts reveal t...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week