November retail sales hit a six-month low

06 December, 2011

UK like-for-like retail sales fell 1.6% in November compared with the same month in 2010 – the weakest performance since May.

Total sales were up just 0.7%, against a 2.8% increase recorded in November 2010 by the British Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Internet and mail-order sales growth fell back in November after picking up in October. The increase of 8.6% was the lowest since March.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “There’s a worrying lack of cheer in these figures. The weakest increase in sales for six months suggests consumers are keeping a tight rein on their spending, despite Christmas being so near. 

“Consumers are not quite in the Christmas mindset yet, although stores are working to generate much-needed sales with high levels of festive discounting.”

Helen Dickinson, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Any sales are hard won, with high discount and promotion levels. Retailers’ performance is suffering because of weak top-line growth and declining margins, making the backdrop even more challenging. 

“December will require some tough decisions for a number of retailers as they struggle to plot a path in such challenging conditions.”




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