LONDON — Despite the last week in November being the most hyped shopping bonanza in Britain’s retail history, Britain’s BDO’s monthly High Street Sales Tracker figures show that sales growth for the month remained virtually flat.
The Black Friday weekend surge boosted sales for the last week of November by 5.6 percent (compared with) the same week last year, but overall like-for-like sales at mid-market retailers dipped 0.2 percent year-on-year for November as a whole.
BDO said sales in the “struggling fashion sector” actually dropped 1.9 percent year-on-year in the month of November. Fashion sales dipped for the first three weeks of November, compared with the same three weeks in 2013, when heavy discounting drove up trading.
Sophie Bevan, head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, warned there could be trouble ahead for British retailers due to the sales surge during Black Friday.
“While the Black Friday period provided exceptional sales for many retailers, there is concern that sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas could be hit as a result,” she said.
“This was a trend noted in 2013 and, given the bigger scale of Black Friday 2014, December sales force retailers into further discounting. Coupled with a quiet autumn on the high street, many stores will still have stock to shift, and we expect to see steady discounting continue in the run up to Christmas,” she added.