UK retail sales increased by 1.3% in November, a slowdown from a rise of 2.4% in October, as consumers waited for Black Friday bargains to make purchases.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that non-food sales in the week including Black Friday were 40% higher compared with other weeks of the month.
Sales in the weeks prior to 25 November were weaker compared to last year, suggesting consumer spending was heavily concentrated around the Black Friday event.
Like-for-like sales rose 0.6% from the same period a year ago compared to a 1.7% increase in October.
Food sales increased 1.5% over the three months to November, helped by Bonfire Night falling on a Saturday, but then curtailed by the Black Friday event diverting spending into other areas.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "November saw total sales up 1.3 per cent over the previous year, with food the biggest contributor to growth. Whilst the figure isn't spectacular, it's a pretty solid performance in what has been a challenging year for sales in the UK.
"Overall, consumer spending remains stable, although very much value-driven with a focus towards products on promotion.
"With an extra weekend to shop for Christmas this year, nerves will be tested in December as retailers choose their strategies to attract the last minute gift shoppers."
Consumers electronics helped drive online sales of non-food products 10.9% higher in November – the third consecutive month of double-digit growth.
"With more than 1 in 4 pounds spent online, this was a record high for online non-food sales," Dickinson said.
"Facilitated by the convenience of buying online, heavy sales periods, such as November, encourage an increasingly value-driven customer to shop around for price comparisons to fulfil their Christmas shopping list."
Official figures released last month by the Office for National Statistics showed that UK retail sales rose 7.4% from a year earlier in October, the fastest rate of growth in 14 years.
Online sales advanced nearly 27%, the strongest rate of growth recorded in five years.