Belfast Telegraph

Retailers' Christmas trade boost in jeopardy

Retail experts have warned the key Christmas trading period hangs in the balance as figures show high street sales growth slowed last month.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed like-for-like sales values increased by 0.7% year-on-year in November, but said underlying volumes were virtually flat once inflation was stripped out.

Like-for-like sales growth dropped slightly from 0.8% in October as consumers restricted their spending because of fears over their financial security and uncertainty over the economy.

The BRC described November as another difficult month for retailers.

The figures do not include the effects of the recent snowy weather which impacted sales by keeping shoppers at home and disrupting deliveries.

Sales in early December are expected to be hit by the adverse weather, but the BRC hopes retailers will make up the sales in the next three weeks.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "With the final run-up under way, Christmas performance is delicately poised," he said. "Retailers will be hoping disruption eases so that sales lost early in the month are made up over the next couple of weeks and not lost entirely."

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