Belfast Telegraph

Poor Black Friday 'not good omen for Christmas'

By Josie Clarke

Black Friday spending was not enough to restore confidence to the high street ahead of a "potentially tough" Christmas for retailers, figures suggest.

Overall like-for-like sales fell 1.3% last month following the worst October on record, according to the High Street Sales Tracker from accountancy and advisory firm BDO.

Northern Ireland was the UK's worst performing region on Black Friday as the number of shoppers on high streets slumped by 7.2% compared to last year's turnout, according to figures from Springboard last month.

Meanwhile, the BDO figures show fashion sales fell 2.5% year on year, cancelling out positive figures for lifestyle goods, up 0.9%.

The sales drop on the high street came despite a year-on-year growth of 1.1% over the Black Friday week at the end of the month.

The first week of November also saw a year-on-year sales lift of 0.4% as the cold weather boosted demand for winter clothing.

However, shoppers kept their wallets firmly closed during the middle two weeks of November despite widespread discounting in the lead-up to the shopping event, with sales down 4.3% and 2.4% year-on-year respectively.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said all the signs pointed to a potentially tough Christmas on the high street.

Belfast Telegraph

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