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Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said:

“Consumers, determined to enjoy Christmas, hit the high street in November with sales up 5% compared to last year.

Apparel and jewellery dominated Christmas gift buying at the tills, whilst limited Black Friday promotions saw big purchases on technology and for the home put on hold, meaning sales continued to fall in these categories.

The high street dominated sales growth during November as consumers, buoyed by the continued roll out of the vaccine programme and eager to ensure they secured the gifts they want for Christmas, headed for physical stores to do their festive shopping. Online sales fell yet again in November, with only clothing sales seeing minor positive growth.

Retailers will be hoping consumer confidence continues this month and will be keeping close to Government COVID-19 updates, as we head to the vital few shopping weeks before Christmas.

As we look ahead to the new year, rising costs continue to bite into margins. Supply chain issues have impacted the availability of goods, leaving retailers with very little room for the mega discounting events we have seen in previous January sales. Rising inflation, which could top 4% + by the end of this year, is also likely to prompt an interest rate rise sooner rather than later, which could dent consumer confidence and spending.”

 

KPMG also published our latest UK Economic Outlook today, which you can read here. 

Look back at October's BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor: