• m/m -0.2% vs -0.5% prev

The fourth week of November included Black Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving, among the busiest and most closely watched shopping days of the year.

The report shows that this final burst of strength was sufficient to enable many stores to improve their overall monthly average but retailers said shoppers were hesitating to buy bigger ticket items and gross margins continue to be pressured by an increase in markdowns.

More and more consumers seem to be taking advantage of deals to shop online, lured by free shipping and avoidance of crowds. Early indications for December are for a comparable tone of guarded optimism