Black Friday drives record online penetration in UK
The annual Black Friday sales event has helped to drive a record level of “online penetration” in the UK, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. “Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 10.9% in November versus a year earlier, when they had increased by 11.8%. This is the third consecutive month of growth above 10%. November’s growth was above the 3-month average of 10.7% and just ahead of the 12-month average of 10.8%,” noted the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
November’s figures also showed that online sales represented 27.6% of total Non-Food sales in the UK, against 25.3% for the same month last year. According to the BRC: “This is the highest Non-Food penetration rate on record, and the eleventh consecutive month that the rate has remained above 20%.”
Helen Dickinson, the BRC Chief Executive, commented: “With more than 1 in 4 pounds spent online, this was a record high for online non-food sales. Facilitated by the convenience of buying online, heavy sales periods, such as November, encourage an increasingly value- driven customer to shop around for price comparisons to fulfil their Christmas shopping list.”
Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, added: “Retailers now face the challenge of processing the inevitable returns following the surge in sales, all too easily overlooked amidst the excitement of Black Friday. The pressure then turns to ensuring deliveries will make it under the Christmas tree in time.”