Economy

November retail sales rise by 1.4%, ONS reveals

Non-food stores sales volumes rose by 2% during the period due to growth in clothing stores (2.9%) and other non-food stores (2.8%) such as computer stores, toy stores and jewellery stores

Retail sales volumes rose by 1.4% in November 2021, and were 7.2% higher than pre-Covid levels in February 2020, according to the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data.

Non-food stores sales volumes rose by 2% during the period due to growth in clothing stores (2.9%) and other non-food stores (2.8%) such as computer stores, toy stores and jewellery stores.

Meanwhile, clothing stores sales volumes in November 2021 were above pre-coronavirus levels for the first time at 3.2%.

Store sales were reportedly boosted in part by “strong trading” related to Black Friday sales and the lead up to Christmas.

However, the proportion of retail sales online fell to 26.9% in November as people took advantage of physical stores and discounts offered.

Jacqui Baker, partner and head of retail at RSM UK, said: “It’s good to see another uplift in retail sales in November with Christmas shopping and Black Friday deals driving sales up 1.4%.

“If there is a silver lining, it’s that supply chain disruption has brought Christmas spending forward to ensure presents arrive on time, which might offset any slowdown in sales in December as we enter another period of uncertainty.”

She added: “Retailers look to the Golden Quarter to build cash reserves to see them through the first quarter of the year, but the unfolding situation around rising Omicron cases and extra restrictions will hit consumer confidence and sales in December.”

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