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Big leap in online sales reported

08 December 2017 - 13:31 by Paul Tissington

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Figures suggest that November saw a larger proportion of retail sales made via safe shopping online than ever before, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday helping to generate growth in spite of the fact that the high street continued to struggle.

Analysts at the British Retail Consortium found that 27.3 per cent of sales were web-based last month, helping market-wide sales to rise by 1.5 per cent. Conversely, there was a three per cent dip in sales at bricks and mortar outlets, leaving questions about how real world outlets will fair over the rest of the festive period.

Interestingly, in spite of the shift towards safe shopping online, the levels of growth seen via e-commerce sites were actually lower than anticipated, reaching 6.5 per cent and falling short of averages seen over the past year.

All of these figures are for non-food items, while the grocery market itself increased by four per cent last month when compared with November of 2016.

Report spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, said that while October had seen a slight slump in retail spending, a recovery last month was to be expected, with sales stimulated by the Black Friday weekend and the bevy of price cuts that were provided by hundreds of retailers.

She also said that as people were feeling the pinch of the falling value of the pound and stagnant incomes, things were not looking entirely rosy for the retail sector as a whole. And it is expected that consumers will continue to turn to the web to get items affordably and in the most convenient manner, leaving real world stores to sink further from their peak of influence.

No immediate changes in the fortunes of the market is projected, with Brexit negotiations and general uncertainty still taking their toll on consumer confidence.