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UK retail sales in surprise rise in October after increased promotion drives

Thursday, 17 November 2011
Retails sales volumes in the UK rose unexpectedly in October due to earlier-than-usual holiday season discounts and other promotions, suggesting customers are benefitting from intense competition among retailers as the economy slows, official data showed on Thursday.

Sales unexpectedly rose 0.6percent month-on-month in October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

The expectation has been that sales volumes were expected to fall because it was thought the warmer weather would have put people off buying winter clothes.

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The ONS said the food sector had seen a boost in October, driven mostly by promotions and pre-Christmas sales.
But the volume of retail sales including automotive fuel rose 0.6percent from September and was 0.9percent higher than in October last year, the strongest annual gain for six months, the ONS said.

Sales volumes in small stores rose 5.3percent year-on-year - the biggest increase since November 2004.

The ONS said it had got lots of feedback showing sales volumes were boosted by early pre-Christmas promotions across the board, and deals such as three items for the price of two. Discounting in the food sector, where supermarkets are competing fiercely on pricing, helped sales volumes rise on the year for the first time since April.
By Scancomark.se Team. Contributions from the BBC and Dow Jones newswire




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