Scotland business

Black Friday failed to boost November retail sales

Black Friday Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Black Friday has not had the desired effect on retail figures

Black Friday was not enough to boost November's Scottish retail sales.

Last month sales dropped by 1.3% on a like-for-like basis compared with November 2016, with last year's figures down 0.2% on the previous year.

Figures for November said Black Friday's evolution into a week-long affair had a "damaging effect" on footfall in stores.

Shoppers waited for the heavy discounts and found online shopping more convenient.

Total sales in Scotland declined by 0.6% compared with November 2016 when they had declined by 1.5%, the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor for November 2017 showed.

'Make-or-break month'

When adjusted for deflation, measured at 0.1% by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI), November sales declined by 0.5%.

While total food sales increased, total non-food sales decreased last month.

Retail experts suggested Black Friday may be losing its appeal and said December would be a "make-or-break" month for retailers.

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Media captionNot everywhere was as busy as predicted on Black Friday

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs at the SRC, said: "Black Friday wasn't enough to boost November's Scottish retail sales, with figures flagging by 0.5% in real terms.

"Despite that week's sales being 40% higher than the November average, it wasn't enough to help beleaguered high street stores match last year's performance.

"As expected, Black Friday sales were concentrated online, with footfall figures not especially higher for the week.

"However, with Black Friday falling earlier before Christmas this year, and for many customers before payday, we haven't seen the growth of recent years."

He added: "That's a disappointment for retailers hoping the relatively-weak sales in the autumn were due to consumers waiting for the best bargains.

"These are the final sales figures before Christmas, and they will leave Scottish retailers feeling very nervous about what is now a make-or-break December."

Image caption Scottish consumers are not shopping in stores and were thought to be waiting for online deals

The figures showed that total food sales in November increased 4.2% versus November 2016, when they had remained static.

Total non-food sales declined 4.4% compared to November 2016, when they had decreased by 2.7%.

When adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales, total non-food sales declined by 2.6% compared to November 2016, when they had increased by 1.1%.

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland at KPMG, said: "A 4.4% decline in non-food sales suggests the novelty of 'Black Friday' may have worn off for consumers.

"The now week-long extravaganza has perhaps left customers fatigued, with many choosing to shop online, rather than in store.

"However, while Black Friday boosted sales following a poor October - particularly in electrical goods - retailers must be careful. What started as a one-day experience has turned into at least a week of sales.

"Scotland's bargain hunting customers may come to expect discounted goods for much longer periods than were previously on offer, which has a significant impact on retailer margins."

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