Retail sales rose by volume and value last month, official data indicated.
Sales, excluding fuel, advanced 4.4% year on year in November. By volume, they climbed 3.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Month on month, sales were up 1.4% and 1.2% by value and volume respectively.
The data included Black Friday but not Cyber Monday, which will be incorporated in December’s survey. The ONS said: “In November 2018, online sales as a proportion of all retailing exceeded 20% for the first time, with all online retailing accounting for 21.5% of total retailing on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.”
Non-food stores were the largest contributor towards the overall month-on-month growth, the ONS reported.
The largest contribution by volume to non-food bought came from household goods, followed by “other non-food” stores such as computers and electrical equipment, books and newspapers, carpets and rugs, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical and medical goods.
Deloitte head of retail Ian Geddes said: “A digital milestone has been met for UK retail. For the first time, more than a fifth of all retailing in November was conducted online: 21.5%.
“Boosted by promotional activity in the run-up to Black Friday, average weekly online spending in November was £1.8bn, a whopping 13.1% increase from November 2017.
“Notwithstanding November’s positive sales figures, it’s hard to recall a Christmas environment that has been as competitive as the current market and a number of established consumer brands are struggling to cope.
“The combination of less footfall on the high street, a seismic shift towards online sales and heavy discounting during the Black Friday period has been the root cause for many of the profit warnings that have been announced of late.”