British retail sales fell unexpectedly in October, possibly due to shoppers waiting for ‘Black Friday’ discounts at the end of November, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium.

Retail sales were down overall by 0.2 percent in October compared with the same month last year, a sharp drop from the 2.6 percent rise seen in September.

The BRC’s chief executive Helen Dickinson commented:

“October was a somewhat disappointing month overall for retailers.

“A number of categories which we would typically expect to be popular on Black Friday saw a slowdown in October, suggesting that some shoppers may be holding out in the hope of some great deals at the end of November.”

The BRC also highlighted the fact that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, meaning fewer people were likely to have gone shopping – and the impact of Britain adopting America’s annual ‘Black Friday’ sales day means shoppers may be waiting until then to spend.

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