Retail sales rise in November but growth slows

| December 8, 2009 | 0 Comments

A survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/KPMG has today revealed a rise in November retail sales of an annual rate of 1.8%.

However, it was much less than the 3.8% annual growth seen the previous month as the figures were dragged down by falling food price inflation.

Furthermore, the milder weather meant sales of winter coats and warm accessories were hit. Total retail sales, which includes new floorspace, rose by 4.1% last month, compared with 5.9% in October.

The BRC also revealed that sales of furniture, flooring and homewares continued to recover in November but this was a result of the severe declines experienced last year due to the collapse in the property market.

Helen Dickinson, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Many retailers will be quietly confident that their performance will not be anywhere near as bad as some may have expected six months ago.”

BRC Director General Stephen Robertson comments: “We would have expected much stronger growth because the comparison is with very poor results in 2008 when November was the second worst performing month of the year.”

On a positive note, internet, mail-order and phone sales, were 16.9% up on the year.

In related news, yesterday the John Lewis Partnership, which is seen as a barometer of British retailing, said it had experienced its biggest ever weekly sales figures despite the recession.

In the week to December 5, the department store reported sales of £102.4 million - up 14% on the same week a year earlier and nearly £1 million more than the previous record set in 2007.

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