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Black Friday brings cheer to high street

High street with shoppers walking

Shoppers seeking Black Friday bargains pushed retail sales up in November by the biggest monthly margin for a decade. The Office for National Statistics said till receipts rose by 6.4%, largely because of the Black Friday phenomenon. All main types of retailer, including supermarkets, non-food stores, petrol stations and online retailers, experienced growth, the first time every category had been in positive territory since the end of last year. Household electrical appliance volumes increased by 32% last month year-on-year and department store sales were up by 15.5%. Both were record rises. David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said that Black Friday was now 'firmly entrenched in our shopping calendar.' The ONS said average weekly spending last month was £7.9bn compared with £7.5bn last year. However, the figures were skewed because Black Friday fell in December's official numbers last year. But, more broadly, three-month sales this year were up by 1.1%. On the other hand, some industry experts were concerned that Black Friday had simply pulled forward Christmas sales.

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