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Clothing fails to perform in November

Clothing was the worst performing retail category in November despite online trading reaching an all-time high, according to the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.

Out of 11 sectors, clothing ranked bottom for performance, down from second place for the same period in 2013, with footwear only marginally better in ninth, a drop from first place.

The results were blamed on the unseasonably warm conditions, with acessories such as hats and gloves particularly affected, as was knitwear.

While the month did finish with a slight uplift, especially in footwear, thanks to Black Friday, retailers are still reporting high levels of unsold cold weather items - leading to predictions of further discounts in December.

Overall UK retail sales were up 2.2%, representing the best performance in three months. Like-for-like sales were up 0.9% year on year.

KPMG’s head of retail David McCorquodale said: “Consumers were reluctant to spend too much too soon until a record-breaking Black Friday helped to kick start festive spending. 

“Fashion and footwear retailers used this occasion to recover some lost ground but at a cost to their margin. Sadly some retailers fell short of the mark, with websites crashing under the pressure of shoppers hunting for a bargain. Resolving these issues must be a priority: consumers go online to avoid queues, not join them.”

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