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Bleak outlook for retail sector in 2021 as consumer spending remains subdued

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Inflation for April has eased to 3%.
Inflation for April has eased to 3%.

Consumers have been thrown the biggest curve balls in 2020, but a blackout on Black Friday was unimaginable. This is the one event retailers and retail enthusiasts looked forward to the whole year to boost sales.

Retail trade has been declining since the easing of the hard lockdown in May 2020 but, according to Statistics SA, 20% of annual retail trade occurs in November and December, meaning this spending season would be the saving grace, analysts thought.

StatsSA published their retail sales data for November on Thursday and had it dropped by 4% year-on-year. This was the worst performance since August when retail sales plunged by 4.2%.

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