ONS Retail stats: Barclays' comment 17 Dec 2015 10:00 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rsi/retail-sales/november-2015/stb-rsi-nov-15.html Commenting on today’s ONS Retail Sales figures, Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays, said: “Typically we look to year-on-year statistics for an accurate picture of the state of play in the retail industry, but the evolution of Black Friday and its developing impact on the pattern of sales in November and throughout the Christmas trading period means that on this occasion, we have to treat the figures with some caution. Retailers will be pleased with the sales growth achieved in November, but analysts and retailers should really wait until the Christmas season has run its course before drawing any firm conclusions. That said, the unseasonably warm weather at the start of the month coupled with delayed purchases in anticipation of big discounts certainly posed some challenges for fashion retailers, so to see that this sector was still able to post a positive result is really encouraging. The growing shift to online and mobile, particularly on Black Friday, will also give bricks and mortar retailers plenty to think about. As we enter the final week before the big day, retailers will rightly be pulling out all the stops to encourage shoppers through their doors and onto their websites for those crucial last-minute purchases.” About Barclays Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.With 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.home.barclays .