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November saw online retail continue its strong Year-on-Year growth with 39% YoY uplift, an extraordinary performance given the large volume of spend that’s built upon from November last year. It is worth noting that the YoY growth for November last year (2019 vs 2018) was 20% – this years higher result clearly being caused by the nationwide lockdown and extended Black Friday sales campaigns during the entire month.

IMRG tracked the Black Friday campaign start dates for the month of November for 185 retailers. Three weeks out from Black Friday, 19 of them had started their BF campaigns, in 2019 only 4 of them had started by that point in the month. Two weeks out from Black Friday, 38 retailers had started their campaigns, in 2019 only 9 had started. So the extended Black Friday campaigns helped spread a high demand across the whole month of November. The November results showed that the overall spend across the month was flattened slightly in comparison to other years (wk1 -20%, Wk2 21%, Wk3 25%, Wk4 33%). In 2019 the BF week represented 41% of the months spend, but in 2020 it was 33%.

Of particular note for November is the Electrical sector. For Sept-Oct month-on-month growth was 3% but this increased dramatically for Oct-Nov with 117.5%, obviously an outcome from Black Friday “month”. The sector is highly dependent on Black Friday week (the BF week in 2019 represented 5% of its entire annual revenue) so its encouraging to see such strong performance for the whole month as well. The ABV for electricals was £189 in November which is to be expected as many consumers looked to purchase higher value electrical items during the Black Friday sales. Another consideration of the increased ABV is the sale of the new generation games consoles in the lead up to Christmas with 2 major launches happening in the second week of November and consequent restocks in the following weeks. Both consoles are nearly £500 each.

It will be interesting to see how the Gifts sector fares in December with high streets now open again. Gifts sales have been very strong for the last 3 months with 73% YoY growth in September, 103% in October and another jump to 123.5% in November. Our initial assumption was early Christmas shopping, so Decembers results will tell if demand was pulled forward or not.

PLEASE NOTE: IMRG have extensive insight on the Black Friday week, not mentioned as part of this release. Please contact us for more details on how the Black Friday day, and surrounding week performed.

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