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Saturday 20th of February 2010
November 10, 2009    

High Street sales rise in October

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by Kay Murchie

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed great news for the High Street today after October retail sales surged by an annual rate of 3.8%.

However, the BRC points out that the figures compare with October 2008 when turmoil in the financial markets dented consumer confidence.

The rise was due to Halloween, which fell on a Saturday and many children were on half-term holiday, which boosted the sales of fancy dress costumes and some cosmetic products.

Furthermore, early Christmas shoppers were looking for bargains during the month.

“With less than 50 days to go before Christmas, retailers will be hoping that improved consumer confidence will be sustained during the festive period and beyond,” according to BRC director general Stephen Robertson.

“But 2010 has many uncertainties, including the likelihood of rising unemployment and tax increases,” cautioned Mr Robertson.

For the second consecutive month, the non-food sector performed better than the food sector, said the BRC.

It is hoped that retail sales will continue to rise over the next couple of months as consumers take advantage of the reduced 15% rate of VAT - which is set to rise again in January 2010.

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