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Retail sales were up 0.6% on a like-for-like basis in November according to the latest BRC- KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, but in-store sales of non-food items fell despite the Black Friday sales event.

On a total basis, sales rose 1.5% in November, against a growth of 1.3% in November 2016. Like-for-like growth of 0.6% was the same rate of growth as was seen in November 2016.

Over the three months to November 2017, in-store sales of non-food items declined 3% on a total basis and 3.7% on a like-for-like basis. On a 12-month basis, the total decline was 2.2%, which is the deepest fall since the BRC/KPMG records began in January 2012.

Over the three months to November, food sales increased 2.8% on a like-for-like basis and 4% on a total basis.

Over the three-months to November, non-food retail sales in the UK decreased 1.2% on a like-for-like basis and 0.6% on a total basis. This is the lowest 3-month average total non-food growth since May 2011, excluding Easter distortions.

However, online sales of non-food products grew 6.5% in November and online penetration rate increased from 26.3% in October 2016 to 27.4% in October 2017, the highest on record.

The growth of 6.5% is below the 3-month and 12-month averages of 7.3% and 8.0% respectively.

Helen Dickinso, BRC chief executive, commented: “November brought relief as growth in retail sales perked up after last month’s dip. Black Friday, the big retail event of the month, failed to fundamentally shift underlying trends in spending.

“Food sales were responsible for pretty much all the growth this month as higher prices continue to absorb more of the weekly shopping budget. Non-food sales - the focus of Black Friday –fell, as the squeeze on household incomes continues to impact discretionary spend.

“That’s not to deny that Black Friday was a significant event. Sales of non-food products that week were over 40 per cent higher than in the other weeks of the month, while it was the biggest week ever for non-food products online. However, rather than increasing overall sales, the event has shifted spending away from other parts of the festive period, and focusses shoppers’ attentions online and away from stores.”

Paul Martin, Head of Retail, KPMG added: “Despite Cyber Monday falling outside November’s figures, sales growth was clearly more prominent online, with non-food online sales up 6.4 per cent on last year and penetration rates as high as 27.4%. After previous in-store stampedes, it is clear that retailers are increasingly moving Black Friday away from the high street.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive IGD, said: “It has been a good year so far for grocery sales, although the final verdict hinges on the four weeks still to come. Christmas shopping could be a bit more spontaneous this year given that 60% of shoppers say they usually end up buying unplanned products at this time, up from 53% in 2016.”

Morning update

Fever-Tree (FEVR) is stepping up its push into North America with the establishment of its first office in the region.

The premium mixers producer has appointed Charles Gibb as its North American CEO, currently its as global strategy director having joined in August 2017 after a career spanning LVMH, Moët Hennessy, Diageo and Bacardi.

As part of this transition, Fever-Tree has given notice to Brands of Britain, its US agent. The group will continue to work closely with BoB over the next six months with formal handover to be completed during the second quarter of 2018 after which time Fever-Tree will directly manage the current distribution network.

Fever-Tree stated: “The US premium mixer sector continues to represent a significant opportunity for the Group given the existence of the same trends of premiumisation, authenticity and mixability that have been driving the success of Fever-Tree globally.”

im Warrillow, CEO of Fever-Tree, commented: “The North American premium mixer market is still at a relatively early stage but the trend towards spirits premiumisation and the increasing focus on simple long drink mixability is accelerating and represents a significant opportunity for Fever-Tree, as the pioneer of the premium mixers segment.

“I am delighted that Charles Gibb has agreed to lead our operations in the region. He brings substantial international experience, a broad range of strategic and commercial skills as well as a proven track record of growing brands to significant scale.”

Fever-Tree shares have ticked up 0.9% to 1,957p this morning.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has opened up another 0.5% to 7,373.1pts.

Retail stocks have surged on the level of grocery growth recorded by BRC/KPMG this morning. Morrisons (MRW), is up 3.7% to 222p, Tesco (TSCO), up 3.5% to 202.1p, Ocado (OCDO), up 2.7% to 357.8p, Sainsbury’s (SBRY), up 2.2% to 238p and Booker (BOK), is up 1.9% to 223.4p.

Other strong risers include Premier Foods (PFD), up 3.6% to 43p, British American Tobacco (BATS), up 1.8% to 4,881.5p and McBride (MCB), up 1.6% to 228.5p.

Early fallers include Science in Sport (SIS), down 2.6% to 73p, Worldpay Group (WPG), down 2.1% to 413p and PureCircle (PURE), down 1.7% to 479.8p.

Yesterday in the City

Yesterday proved to be a roller-coaster day for the pound as the prospect of significant progress on a Brexit deal appeared within reach before being scuppered after the intervention of Northern Ireland’s DUP.

The pound surged to $1.353 in the morning as news broke of an agreement emerging over the Irish border question, but as that agreement fell apart the pound dropped by more than a cent to $1342.

The FTSE 100 had a more stable day, keeping hold of early gains driven by Donald Trump’s tax victory late on Friday. The FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.5% at 7,339pts.

McColl’s dropped 5.2% to 275p after reporting a slowdown in fourth quarter sales growth yesterday.

Ocado lost some of the ground it made up last week, falling back 4.2% to 348.4p.

Other fallers included Gregg’s (GRG), down 1.1% to 1,316p and Cranswick (CWK), down 1.2% to 3,124p.

Risers included Greencore (GNC), up 2.5% to 217.3p, Marks & Spencer (MKS), up 2.2% to 316.2p, Associated British Foods (ABF), up 2% to 2,926p, Britvic (BVIC), up 1.9% to 820p and Tate & Lyle (TATE), up 1.2% to 684p.

Also on the up were Nichols (NICL), up 5.2% to 1,579p, PureCircle (PURE), up 2.7% to 488p and Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), up 2% to 352p.