Britons wait for sales on Black Friday

Shoppers may be putting off making purchases to wait for “Black Friday” discounts, a survey has suggested.

Retail sales fell by 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis in October, compared with the same time last year. Total sales were up 0.9 per cent, but this was lower than the 1.4 per cent recorded in October 2014, according to the latest retail sales monitor compiled by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.

Categories such as electronics, which are extremely popular on Black Friday, when many retailers offer sharp discounts, slowed last month as shoppers delayed their purchases.

Black Friday takes place the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, on the fourth Thursday in November. This year, it falls on November 27.

Helen Dickinson, the retail consortium’s chief executive, said: “A number of categories which we’d typically expect to be popular on Black Friday suffered a slowdown in October, suggesting that some shoppers may be holding out in the hope of some great deals at the end of November.”

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Retailers will be making sure websites and fulfilment operations are ready to handle any fireworks on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

This year, internet sales over the 24-hour Black Friday period are expected to surpass £1 billion for the first time