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ONS: Online Sales Exceeded 20% of All Retailing in November

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Although many retailers went on record to say that November trading was poor, the ONS has reported that retail sales in November 2018 were better than expected.

Main points: 

  • in the three months to November 2018, the quantity bought in retail sales showed an increase of 0.4% when compared with the previous three months due to growths in non-food stores and online retailing.

  • The quantity bought in November 2018 when compared with October 2018 increased by 1.4%, with a strong monthly growth of 5.3% in household goods stores.

  • Strong growth of 5.3% in household goods stores provided the largest contribution to overall growth within non-food stores.

  • Retailers reported strong growth on the month due to Black Friday promotions in November, which continues the shifting pattern in consumer spending to sales occurring earlier in the year; the non-seasonally adjusted growth rate in November 2018 was 13.2% in comparison with 8.7% in November 2013.

  • In November 2018, online sales as a proportion of all retailing exceeded 20% for the first time, with all online retailing accounting for 21.5% of total retailing on a non-seasonally adjusted basis

In November 2018, both the amount spent and quantity bought in retail sales showed growth across all measures. When compared with the previous month, the amount spent increased by 1.5% and the quantity bought increased by 1.4%, recovering from a decrease of 0.4% in both September and October 2018. 

The strongest growth can be seen in comparison with the same period a year earlier where the amount spent increased by 5.0% and the quantity bought increased by 3.6%.

The three-month on three-month movement shows moderate growth at 0.4% for the quantity bought as a more stable measure than the monthly growth rate.

Source : ONS

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20 December 2018

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