Factbox: British retailers report mixed bag in holiday trading

(Reuters) – British retailers are updating Christmas trading, by far their busiest and most important period of the year, stretching from “Black Friday” on Nov. 23 to early January clearance sales.

With consumer spending subdued and a Dec. 12 national election creating new uncertainties, retailers have been hoping for a boost from Black Friday discount events that were first brought over from the United States by Amazon (O:) in 2010.

The number of payment transactions in Britain as of 1000 GMT on Black Friday was up 12.5% from last year, initial data from Barclaycard showed, bringing some cheer to British retailers who have weathered Brexit concerns and weakness on the high street this year.

Following are the highlights:


The British fashion retailer said on Dec. 10 that trading over November and the Black Friday period was below expectations, with lower than anticipated margins and sell through.

Ted Baker’s troubles deepened on Tuesday with the sudden exit of its chief executive and chairman as it issued another profit warning and suspended its dividend.


Sales growth at Britain’s supermarkets slowed in the last quarter, industry data showed on Tuesday, as shoppers delayed their Christmas preparations ahead of a national election on Dec. 12.

Britain’s big four supermarket groups – market leader Tesco (L:), Sainsbury’s (L:), Asda (N:) and Morrisons (L:) – recorded sales declines over the period.

QUIZ Plc (L:)

The retailer pointed to a positive response to recent product ranges and said it was “pleased” with sales across the recent Black Friday week, without disclosing the actual numbers.

The management said on Dec. 4 they have seen demand for sequinned and sparkly dresses, making for a record Black Friday week.


The online fashion group said on Dec. 3 that trading has remained strong across its key brands with a record performance across the Black Friday weekend.


The retailer’s Carphone Warehouse business said on Nov. 29 it had seen three orders per second on its website since its Black Friday sales went live. Apple (O:) iPhone 11, Apple iPhone XR, and Samsung (KS:) Galaxy S10 were the most popular products so far.


The department store group said the busiest shopping hour online between midnight Nov. 28 and midday Nov. 29 was between 0900 GMT and 1000 GMT. The most popular searched-for products were Lego, iPads and Airpods.

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