A market stall is seen between two High Street shops on Oxford Street in central London

UK High Street sales rose modestly in November ahead of the key Christmas shopping season for Britain's struggling retailers.

Retail sales for November rose 1.8 percent in value terms from last year, the British Retail Consortium said in its monthly monitor Tuesday, up from a 1.1 percent pace in October. Like-for-like sales, which measures changes in retail floor space, grew by 0.4 percent on the year last month, the BRC said. With many UK schools scheduling their half-term break in the month, non-food sales were given a boost, the BRC said, while food sales continued to slow ahead of an expected jump for the holiday season.

"November was off to a flying start helped by end-of-month paydays, mid-season sales and the impact of half term, which had been in the previous month last year," said BRC Director General Stephen Robertson. "But sales growth slowed as November unfolded, suggesting that customers are taking care not to spend too much too soon, although must-have toy and technology items did well as people bought early so as not to be disappointed."

The BRC also said online sales grew by around 7.5 percent last month, little changed from the October reading.