British retail sales surge


Shopping bagsBritish retail sales have risen strongly in November as shoppers snapped up bargains on ‘Black Friday’ ahead of the festive season.

Sales jumped by 1.6 per cent last month and by 6.4 per cent year on year, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement on Thursday.

Analysts had forecast a monthly increase of 0.4 per cent and annual gain of 4.5 per cent, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires.

The ONS pointed out that while Black Friday data was not included in its figures for November 2013, the event had clearly helped to fuel retail sales last month compared with October of this year, especially for household goods.

US tradition Black Friday, which fell on November 28, has become firmly established in Britain – an event that sees retailers scrambling to slash prices for their goods sold online and in stores.

Feedback from stores selling household goods such as televisions and kitchen appliances “suggested that ‘Black Friday’ had a significant impact on sales”, the ONS said.


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