Black Friday failed to reignite the UK High Street last month as non-food retailers struggled. Research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG showed like-for-like sales across the sector rose by just 0.6% in November compared to the same period last year. And this growth was almost entirely down to food sales and increasing prices.
Non-food sales in the week leading up to Black Friday were 40% higher than in other weeks of the month and non-food products online performed strongly. But ultimately the event fell short of expectations. “Rather than increasing overall sales, the event has shifted spending away from other parts of the festive period, and focussed shoppers' attentions online and away from stores,” says BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson. "This year's Black Friday has demonstrated that in such a tough economic environment, consumers have become ever more careful, willing to wait and deploy their discretionary income only when they see an exceptional bargain. That heralds a challenging festive period ahead for retailers and shoppers alike."