–BRC: UK Nov Like-For-Like Sales -1.6% y/y; Total +0.7% y/y
–BRC: UK Sep-Nov Like-For-Like Sales -0.6% y/y; Total 1.7% y/y

LONDON, (MNI) – UK retail sales fell 1.6% on a like-for-like basis
in November from the same month of 2010, according to the British Retail
Consortium-KPMG’s monthly sales monitor.

Total sales were up 0.7% from year-ago levels. BRC-KPMG said that
retail sales had seen their weakest performance since May.

Food sales were little changed from the 5-month lows reached in
October. Non-food sales fell still further below year-ago levels and
were largely promotions-led. Clothing sales were impacted by the mild
weather and a general lack of confidence on economic prospects.

The new wariness seems to be hurting larger homeware and furniture
sales most, BRC-KPMG noted.

Even internet and mail-order sales fell back in November to their
weakest levels seen since March.

Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium,

“There’s a worrying lack of cheer in these figures. The weakest
increase in sales for six months suggests consumers are keeping a tight
rein on their spending, despite Christmas being so near”.

“This November’s mild weather contrasted with much lower
temperatures last year, hitting sales of winter clothing and footwear
particularly hard. Consumers are not quite in the Christmas mindset yet,
although stores are working to generate much-needed sales with high
levels of festive discounting”.

Helen Dickinson, Head of Retail, KPMG, said that the gloomy
note struck by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his
Autumn Statement of Nov 29 would not have helped shoppers’ confidence:

“The latest figures prove once more that the health of UK retailing
is deteriorating. Christmas is a crucial trading period for the UK
retail sector but this year many retailers will be nervous and unsure as
to how the season will pan out. Cash-strapped consumers continue to be
reticent and last week’s gloomy economic forecast by the Chancellor
won’t help to boost confidence levels”.

–London newsroom: +44 20 7862 7492; email: ukeditorial@marketnews.com

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