Retail Sales Accelerated In November As Christmas Shoppers Hit High Streets
UK retail sales accelerated in November as shoppers hit the high streets for early Christmas shopping and Black Friday sales.
According to official figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retail sales volumes increased by 1.4% in November, accelerating from a 0.8% increase in October.
The figure is better than expected, with analysts having forecast that growth would remain steady at 0.8%.
The month was boosted by non-food sales in stores, which increased by 2%. The ONS said that this was particularly boosted by the 2.9% growth in sales at clothing retailers, which saw sales surpass pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
The ONS said sales volumes across retail were now 7.2% higher than levels seen in February 2020.
“Clothing stores fared particularly well and have exceeded their pre-pandemic level for the first time. Computer, toy, and jewellery retailers also reported robust sales this month.”
“With more consumers choosing to visit the high street and retail parks, the proportion of online sales continued on a downward trend, to their lowest level since March 2020,” Bovill added.