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BRC report: Lockdown ‘put brakes on’ retail growth in November

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has released its Retail Sales Monitor for November 2020 – and it reveals November’s lockdown put the brakes on growth.

The report which is conducted by KPMG reveals:

  • On a Total basis, sales increased by 0.9% in November, against a decline of 0.9% in November 2019*. It is below the 3-month average growth of 3.9% and above the 12m average decline of 0.3%.
  • UK retail sales increased 7.7% on a Like-for-like basis from November 2019, when they had decreased 1.3% from the preceding year*. In November, Like-for-like has been measured EXCLUDING temporarily closed stores but including Online sales.
  • Over the three months to November, In-Store sales of Non-Food items declined 18.6% on a Total and 10.8% on a Like-for-like basis. This is better than the 12-month Total average decline of 21.7%. For November, the like-for-like excluding temporarily closed stores remained in decline.
  • Over the three months to November, Food sales increased 6.4% on a Like-for-like basis and 7.0% on a Total basis. This is higher than the 12-month Total average growth of 4.8%. For the month of November, Food was in growth year-on-year.
  • Over the three-months to November, Non-Food retail sales increased by 6.4% on a like-for-like basis and 1.3% on a Total basis. This is above the 12-month Total average decline of 4.5%. For the month of November, Non-Food was in decline year-on-year.
  • Online Non-Food sales increased by 47.2% in November, against a growth of 0.3% in November 2019*. This is above the 3-mth average of 40.6% and the 12-mth average of 33.2%.

Non-Food Online penetration rate increased from 33.2% in November 2019 to 59.3% this November.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “November saw the brakes put on the sales growth that had been seen over the previous three months. In-store non-food sales saw a significant decline as a result of the lockdown in England, however some retailers were able offset a proportion of lost sales through greater online and click-and-collect sales, ensuring they could still serve their customers.

“Extended discount periods helped spread demand and offered customers great deals on gifts including the latest gaming consoles, other electronics and home accessories. However, the disparity between online and in-store non-food sales widened, with the highest online penetration rate since May. Non-food stores once again experienced double-digit decline as tighter restrictions were bought in across England.

“Despite sales remaining positive overall, parts of the industry continue to suffer. After two periods of prolonged closure, and continued low footfall in towns and city centres, many retailers face the stark reality of further job losses and store closures as a result of mounting rent bills and a return to full business rates liability from next April.

“Government should extend the moratorium on debt enforcement and target those retailers who have been hardest hit by the pandemic with further business rates relief beyond April 2021.”

Download the full report here



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