14th December 2017

Black Friday drives UK sales growth

Following a decrease in UK retail figures, Black Friday on November 24th has driven up the UK sales, particularly in the online market.

Electrical appliances, such as TVs and laptops and other household items, were the key component in the boost of sales.

The 1.1% sales volume increase in November exceeded the expectation of economists who predicted a 0.4% increase. This growth was reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The household goods stores showed the highest increase in sales growth of 2.9%. This shows one months increase from October’s figures. The overall increase is only 3.1% in November 2017 when compared with the same period last year. The ONS website quotes Rhian Murphy, ONS Senior Statistician, as saying:
“Underlying retail sales growth remained reasonably strong in the last few months. Household goods stores had a good November, with a number of businesses saying that Black Friday promotions boosted sales.”

The BBC quotes Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, as saying:
“The surge in retail sales in November does not signal broader consumer strength” and that sales “merely reflected people bringing forward purchases that they otherwise would have made in December or January to November, due to the discounts available”.
If this is indeed true, the increase does not indicate a steady market growth. It raises the question if having this event once a year is enough to strengthen the UK market, or if a decrease in prices overall needs to be done to increase the UK sales growth.