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'Christmas toy shopping is starting later' - ToyNews

'Christmas toy shopping is starting later'

UK retail sales values rise 0.4 per cent year-on-year in November.
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Shoppers are buying Christmas toys later than usual this year.

The news comes as UK retail sales values rose 0.4 per cent year-on-year in November, on a like-for-like basis, according to BRC-KPMG retail data. Total sales rose 1.8 per cent.

Online sales also increased 7.5 per cent year-on-year during November.

A statement from BRC-KPMG read: "Several retailers commented that Christmas shopping seems to be starting later this year, which is particularly evident for toys. 

"As Christmas falls on a Tuesday, the weekend immediately preceding it is expected to be particularly busy, while week 51 – the week leading to that weekend – will be up against very strong comparables, as Christmas 2011 was on the Sunday closing that week."

Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “November was off to a flying start helped by end-of-month paydays, mid-season sales and the impact of half term, which had been in the previous month last year. 

"But sales growth slowed as November unfolded, suggesting that customers are taking care not to spend too much too soon, although must-have toy and technology items did well as people bought early so as not to be disappointed.

"Overall, the emphasis continued to be on value with consumers looking at lower priced gifts. The same caution hit online sales, which delivered their third worst performance of the year. 

"With consumers conscious that there will be a full shopping weekend immediately before Christmas, retailers are holding their nerve and counting on a last minute rush in the crucial final weeks."

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