Black Friday and wider discounting contributed to an uplift in November sales, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Retail sales volumes are estimated to have increased by 1.3% in November 2023, from no growth in October 2023, with sales broadly around the same level for the past three months.
Non-food store sales volumes rose by 2.3% in November 2023, following a 0.2% increase in October 2023.
Household goods store sales volumes rose by 3.5% in November 2023, following a fall of 2.6% in October 2023.
ONS reports this is due to “strong” growth in furniture and lighting stores, as retailers reported discounts during November 2023.
This is supported by the Consumer price inflation, UK: November 2023 bulletin, which reported the price of furniture and household goods fell by 0.2% over the month to November 2023, compared with a rise of 0.6% in 2022.
However, despite the strong increase over the month, non-food store sales volumes were 2.7% below pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
Chief executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson commented: “Retailers are banking on a last-minute flurry of festive frivolity in December and will continue working hard to deliver an affordable Christmas for customers so everyone can enjoy some Christmas cheer.
“Looking ahead to 2024, retailers will have to shoulder many new cost pressures, including a rise to business rates, as well as costs from other new regulations.
“These combined with the biggest rise on record to the National Living Wage will mean retailers will have less capital to invest in lowering prices for their customers.”
Although online saw volume growth of 0.2% in November 2023, the rate declined from the previous month, which saw a rise of 0.5% in October 2023, as consumers preferred to visit shops.
UK head of retail at KPMG Paul Martin stated: “As we look to the first few months of 2024, we can expect the challenges to continue which could lead to further casualties in the sector, particularly pure online players facing more than 28 months of consecutive sales decline.”