Inflation sees customers spend more and buy less

6th December 2022 | Jack Oliver

Customers spent more this Black Friday, as total retail sales saw a rise of 4.2% in November, however growth remained below the rate of inflation.

Data from the British Retail Consortium showed UK retail sales increased 4.1% on a like-for-like basis from November 2021, when they had increased by 1.8%. This was above the 3-month average growth of 2.3% and the 12-month average growth of 1.2%.

Although sales picked up in November, marking the beginning of the festive shopping season, the data suggested that sales volumes were down.

GfK data showed that technology sales were down from last year, with 2022 having fewer promotional sales this Black Friday than the previous three years.

Much of the increase in spending was seen in the purchase of winter warmers, coats, hot water bottles and electric blankets.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Despite facing huge cost pressures, retailers are doing all they can to keep prices affordable for all their customers. But, the cost of living crisis means many families might dial back their festive plans. Yet, with three weeks to go, there is still plenty of time for the Christmas cheer to bring sales home this Christmas.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “As we enter the last crucial few weeks of the year, retailers will be hoping that consumers continue to focus on the Christmas feel good factor. For some struggling retailers hit hard as consumer confidence and spending declines, and costs continue to rise, the next few weeks could be critical to their survival.”


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