Black Friday proves a mixed blessing.
Covering the four weeks 30 October – 26 November 2016
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium
“November saw total sales up 1.3 per cent over the previous year, with Food the biggest contributor to growth. Whilst the figure isn’t spectacular, it’s a pretty solid performance in what has been a challenging year for sales in the UK.
“November plays host to Black Friday, which over the past few years has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year. This year’s event was expected to be the biggest yet, and our figures confirm that the week including Black Friday saw non-food sales up around 40 per cent compared with the other weeks of the month. However, compared to last year there was more of a shift of spending from earlier in the month, with sales down on last year in the weeks prior to the 25th November.
“It wasn’t the same story for everyone. Retailers of goods that don’t traditionally benefit from the event, such as clothing, saw weaker Black Friday week sales this year, but made the most of the increased online traffic in the weeks building up to the 25th November by offering promotions to capture shoppers browsing for early bargains.
“Overall, consumer spending remains stable, although very much value-driven with a focus towards products on promotion as shoppers take advantage of the deals of the moment and retailers strive to offer the best choice and value to their customers. With an extra weekend to shop for Christmas this year, nerves will be tested in December as retailers choose their strategies to attract the last minute gift shoppers.”
Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail | KPMG
“November retail sales figures remained positive – with total growth up 1.3 per cent on last year –but performance has slowed down and was not as strong as the previous month. Black Friday deals will have lured would-be shoppers away from the high street in search of bargains online.
“There was notable improvement in the sales figures for certain categories, with footwear – particularly men’s – having performed well in light of the colder weather. Clothing however, struggled somewhat with less growth than we saw in October. That said, retailers are likely to be pleased with any growth in this category based on recent performance.
“Perhaps unsurprising for the time of year, toys and children’s accessories were flying off the shelves, helped along by increased promotion in the run-up to Christmas. With the festive season nearly upon us, it seems furniture was also on the shopping list for many, with the category performing particularly well.
“The next month will be critical for retailers, providing one final push to improve and maintain sales figures against a backdrop of increasing costs and consumers’ insatiable appetite for discounts.”
Food/Non-Food Quarterly Analysis: 3-month average % change year-on-year
- ENDS –
Notes to editors:
The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor measures changes in the actual value (including VAT) of retail sales, excluding automotive fuel. The Monitor measures the value of spending and hence does not adjust for price or VAT changes. If prices are rising, sales volumes will increase by less than sales values. In times of price deflation, sales volumes will increase by more than sales values.
Retailers report the value of their sales for the current period and the equivalent period a year ago. These figures are reported both in total and on a ‘like-for-like’ basis.
Total sales growth is the percentage change in the value of all sales compared to the same period a year earlier. The total sales measure is used to assess market level trends in retail sales. It is a guide to the growth of the whole retail industry, or how much consumers in total are spending in retail – retail spending represents approximately one-third of consumer spending. It is this measure that is often used by economists. Many retailers include distance sales as a component of total sales.
‘Like-for-like’ sales growth (LFL) is the percentage change in the value of comparable sales compared to the same period a year earlier. It excludes any spending in stores that opened or closed in the intervening year, thus stripping out the effect on sales of changes in floorspace. Many retailers include distance sales as a component of like-for-like comparable sales.
The like-for-like measure is often used by retailers, the city and analysts to assess the performance of individual companies, retail sectors and the industry overall, without the distorting effect of changes in floorspace.
Online (including mail order and phone) sales of non-food are transactions which take place over the internet, or via mail order or phone. Online sales growth is the percentage change in the value of online sales compared to those in the same period a year earlier. It is a guide to the growth of sales made by these non-store channels. It should be noted that online sales are still a small proportion of total UK retail sales. Estimates based on ONS figures show about 10 per cent of total UK retail sales (food and non-food) are achieved via the internet.
The responses provided by retailers within each sales category are weighted (based on weightings derived from the ONS Family Spending survey) to reflect the contribution of each category to total retail sales, thus making it representative of UK retail sales as a whole. Because the figures compare sales this month with the comparable period last year, a seasonal adjustment is not made. However, changes in the timing of Bank Holidays and Easter can create distortions, which should be considered in the interpretation of the data.
As well as receiving sales value direct from the retailers in the scheme the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor also receives food and drink sales value data from the IGD’s Market Track Scheme.
In its role as sponsor of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, KPMG is responsible for the aggregation of the retail sales data provided by the retailers on a weekly basis. This data consists of the relevant current week’s sales data and comparative sales figures for the same period in the prior year. The aggregation has been performed by KPMG on data for periods following 2 April 2000 and equivalent prior periods. The accuracy of the data is entirely the responsibility of the retailers providing it. The sponsorship role has been performed by KPMG since 10 April 2000 and the same for the aggregation of comparative sales figures for the period from 2 April 2000 it is not responsible for the aggregation of any data included in this Monitor relating to any period prior to 2 April 2000.
The commentary from KPMG is intended to be of general interest to readers but is not advice or a recommendation and should not be relied upon without first taking professional advice. Anyone choosing to rely on it does so at his or her own risk. To the fullest extent permitted by law, KPMG will accept no responsibility or liability in connection with its sponsorship of the Monitor and its aggregation work to any party other than the BRC.
For media enquiries, please contact:
British Retail Consortium
2 London Bridge London SE1 9RA
T: 020 7854 8900W
T: 0207 854 8924
15 Canada Square London E14 5GL
T: 020 7311 1000
T: 0207 311 6651
M: 07785 373 397
The data is collected and collated for the BRC by KPMG.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the UK’s leading retail trade association. It represents the full range of retailers, large and small, multiples and independents, food and non-food, online and store based.
Sponsored and administered by KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
Food data supplied by IGD makes a difference by providing international market intelligence, supply chain best practice and consumer insight to the food and grocery industry worldwide. We work with consumers, companies and individuals across the chain to provide authoritative information, insight, thought leadership and leading edge best practice to help companies grow their business and develop their people.
Detailed weekly data by category is available to retailers who contribute to the monitor:
If you would like to participate in the Retail Sales Monitor, please contact:
T: 0207 854 8960