Retail guru announces bleak predictions for UK high streets this Christmas

A British retail specialist has revealed that retailers are in for a “potentially tough” month in the run-up to Christmas following a disappointing Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Overall like-for-like sales dropped 1.3% in November, compared to 2016, making it the third worst November on record, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker.

While overall sales were down on last year, footfall at retail parks saw the strongest growth. The retail analysis firm found that footfall was up in every week of November, with a month high of 1.2% in week two. However, footfall at shopping centres was down in every week of the month, with a low of -2.0% in week, the week of Black Friday.

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The news comes after it was reported that consumer confidence took a tumble of two points in November, according to GfK’s consumer confidence report.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: “Sadly, there’s no festive cheer in this month’s Consumer Confidence Index. This is the second time this year that consumer confidence has matched the worrying -12 score seen in July 2016 after the Brexit vote. This is also the 20th consecutive month where the Overall Index score has come in at a negative value – that’s not good festive news.

“Household jitters following the recent interest rate hike, squeezed incomes, higher inflation, and economic uncertainty have dampened the consumer mood across the UK. Perhaps of most concern during this key Christmas trading period is the plunge in the Major Purchase Index (a sharp 6-point drop).”

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