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12th of December 2010
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December 7, 2010    

BRC reveals slowdown in November retail sales

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by Kay Murchie

Falling temperatures led to a slowdown in retail sales in November, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed today.

According to the BRC, values were just 0.7% higher compared with November 2009 as consumers are cautious about the uncertainty surrounding the economy and are fearful of spending cuts and rising taxes.

The cold weather and snowfall that swept much of the country late in the month meant consumers delayed their Christmas shopping.

However, the cold snap resulted in a surge in internet sales as shoppers avoided the High Street.

Sales of goods on the internet, via the telephone and mail order soared by more than 17% versus a year ago.

BRC Director General, Stephen Robertson, described November as a “tough month”.

“Total sales growth has been weak now for eight months in a row and given that VAT has pushed up annual inflation - boosting sales values - underlying volume growth is virtually zero,” he said.

In the meantime, the BRC said sales of clothing were strong in November, boosted by demand for boots and winter clothes.

However, sales of furniture and floorings were weak.

The BRC concludes that sales early next year could come under pressure when the VAT hike comes into effect on 1 January and spending cuts are implemented.

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