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Further catch-up in October but polarised sales

The BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for October 2020 is now ready to download.

Key findings include:

  • In October, UK retail sales increased 5.2% on a Like-for-like basis from October 2019, when they had decreased 0.9% from the preceding year*. In October, Like-for-like has been measured EXCLUDING temporarily closed stores but including Online sales.
  • On a total basis, sales increased by 4.9% in October, against a decline of 0.3% in October 2019*. It is in line with the 3-month average growth of 4.9% and above the 12m average decline of 0.7%.
  • Over the three-months to October, Food sales increased 5.2% on a Like-for-like basis and 5.8% on a Total basis. This is higher than the 12-month Total average growth of 4.2%. For the month of October, Food was in growth year-on-year.
  • Over the three-months to October, Non-Food retail sales increased by 5.7% on a like-for-like basis and 4.0% on a Total basis. This is above the 12-month Total average decline of 4.7%. For the month of October, Non-Food was in growth year-on-year.
  •  Online Non-Food sales increased by 39.0% in October, against a growth of 3.0% in October 2019*. This is in line with the 3-mth average of 39.2% and above the 12-mth average of 28.9%. Non-Food Online penetration rate increased from 31.7% in October 2019 to 42.3% this October.
  • Over the three-months to October, In-Store sales of Non-Food items declined 11.4% on a Total and 9.0% on a Like-for-like basis. This is better than the 12-month Total average decline of 19.6%. For October, the like-for-like excluding temporarily closed stores remained in decline.


Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said:

October saw another month of strong sales growth, with food, gifts and loungewear high on peoples’ shopping lists. Tightening restrictions across the United Kingdom and speculation towards the end of the month of an England-wide lockdown prompted customers to stock up on home comforts and food supplies. The disparity between online and in-store non-food sales widened, with the highest online penetration rate since June. Non-food stores once again experienced double-digit decline due to low footfall as more office workers returned to home working.

“During an incredibly challenging year for the industry, many retailers had finally thought that they were finding their footing. The new lockdown in England will now throw away this progress as we enter the crucial Christmas trading period and we estimate that £2bn of sales per week will be lost this month. It is therefore vital that retailers are able to trade from 3rd December and we are asking government to urgently provide clarity about the criteria for reopening and to ensure that affected businesses are supported in the coming months.

Download the report here

Click here to find out more about the BRC






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Retail’s Response to COVID-19

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