UK like-for-like sales fell 0.4% in November as shoppers held out for Black Friday, according to the British Retail Consortium.
The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for November showed total sales were up 0.7% on last year.
Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.8% year on year for the month.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, said: “Black Friday had an undoubtedly significant impact for the non-food categories, disturbing the build-up to Christmas. Traditionally, sales in the last week of November were 25% larger than in the first week of the month. This year, sales were inflated by the popularity of Black Friday deals and were 50% more than in the first week of November.
“This build-up to Christmas is one of the hardest to read in years. The conversion of people’s higher disposable income into retail sales shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Detailed examination of November trading shows a slowdown in most categories as consumers held off purchases in the hopes of a deluge of Black Friday discounts. In clothing and footwear, brands tended to hold their nerve to retain margins.”
Black Friday deals
He added: “While Black Friday ended up being more of an online affair, the focus over the next few weeks is to promote the theatre of the store for Christmas in the hopes that the tills will be ringing all the way into the new year.”