More shops under threat
BRISTOL is at risk of losing more high street shops in the New Year after Black Friday failed to bring the boost retailers needed, according to a new report.
Despite promotions and discounts last Friday and over the weekend, like-for-like sales in high street stores fell flat, with growth of less than 0.5 per cent.
Bricks-and-mortar retailers attracted fewer shopper than Black Friday week last year - down 6.5 per cent - the research from advisory firm BDO found.
The firm is now warning of more high-profile store closures in the New Year, which could see more shops disappearing from Bristol.
However, online retailers saw likefor-like sales grow by 30.8 per cent - the best Black Friday week since 2014.
Sophie Michael, head of retail at BDO, told The Mirror: “Retailers will be hugely disappointed with the flat in-store sales last week.
“Many have been manacled by a dire high street performance this year and forced to take part in Black Friday even at the cost of margin.
“Last year, high street retailers suffered their fifth successive December of negative sales growth.
“They will be desperately hoping next month won’t mark the sixth but this Black Friday performance won’t be giving them much hope. Like it or loathe it, this American import is now firmly part of the UK’s shopping calendar and it takes a bold retailer to withhold discounting.
“The weeks leading up to Christmas are no longer the golden trading period but a discounting frenzy fuelled by attempts to entice shoppers into stores and rescue poor sales performance for the year.”
Meanwhile, independent shops in Bristol saw a 14 per cent increase in sales over the Black Friday sales period, compared to a national average of seven per cent, according to software firm Vend.
The deepening high street crisis has seen swathes of well-known brands disappear from the city in 2018, including Toys R Us and Maplin.
Like-for like sales in Bristol’s high street stores fell flat over Black Friday weekend