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November best online month of the year

Strong performances during Black Friday helped boost digital sales of non-food products in the UK by 12% to 21% during November, making it the largest month of the year for online shopping.

Data from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor shows that despite a lacklustre start to the month, online sales were up 1.4% year-on-year, with clothing reaching an all-time high of 25.3%.

Women’s footwear ended the month by outperforming other segments after falling short for the first three weeks. Penetration as a whole hit a record 33.8%, the highest of any category last month.

Online sales contributed 1.7% to the growth of non-food total sales in November; although growth was lower in November than in October.

On a three month weighted basis from September to November, online penetration rose 11.6%.

Director general of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said: “Online sales are also contributing a larger proportion of growth to non-food sales compared to in-store.”

However, she warned of a “distortion” created by the flash sales event, which saw many retailers discounting for several days from November 28.

Head of retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale, added the trend is likely to continue through December: “Online sales will help to drive growth for retailers this Christmas and are a crucial element of their overall strategy.”

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