November Sales Up for High Street Shops and Online Retailers Thanks to Black Friday Success

A record-breaking Black Friday resulted in an overall 0.9% increase in retail sales during November, according to new figures released by the British Retail Consortium.

While Black Friday news coverage of people literally crawling over each other to get their hands on discounted TVs painted a depressing picture, adopting this day from the US has been hailed a huge success for British retailers in terms of generating more sales.

Despite increases recorded across all sectors, the best performing categories were household appliances, home and furniture.

Online sales of non-food products increased by 12%, however this was less growth than the 16% year-on-year rise recorded in 2013. The online penetration rate, representing the percentage of the population shopping online, was reported to have been 21% – the highest on record.

Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium, said: “November’s retail sales demonstrate continued growth in sales across the board compared to last month.

“The huge demand for bargain TVs and other household appliances on Black Friday, whether for personal use or as presents meant that electricals was the stand out category in terms of sales growth. “

As anticipated, there were problems with websites crashing and technical glitches as too many consumers rushed online to get a first look at the bargains available.

Is Black Friday the new Boxing Day?

Ms Dickinson explained how fashion retailers took advantage of this day to bring forward Christmas sales of their autumn/winter stock that traditionally begin on Boxing Day.

Besides taking advantage of the sales, she noted that customers also bought full-priced items and showed interest in premium ranges – especially in the food category.

“These are encouraging signs in the run up to Christmas when consumers will likely want to push the boat out even more,” she added.