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ONS: February Retail Sales Fell For Fourth Consecutive Month

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The latest retail sales update from the ONS revealed that in the three months to February 2020, the quantity bought in retail sales fell for the fourth consecutive month by 0.6%; this was across all stores except non-store retailing.

In February 2020, the monthly growth rate in the quantity bought fell by 0.3%, with a range of retailers providing feedback on the adverse effect of the extreme rainfall on sales.

When compared with the same month a year earlier, February 2020 remained flat; the lowest year-on-year growth rate since March 2013 at negative 1.6%.

Online sales as a proportion of all retailing was 19.6% in February 2020, up from the 19.1% reported in January 2020.

The data collection for the period was completed by 29 February and is largely unaffected by recent developments with the coronavirus; however, a small number of retailers suggested that online orders shipped from China were reduced because of the impact of COVID-19.

Main Retail Figures


Head of retail sales at the ONS, Rhian Murphy, said.“Retail sales continued to decline in the latest three months due to weak sales across most store types, with February’s bad weather and flooding impacting on footfall,” 

“A small number of retailers also said that the impact of the coronavirus had affected sales of goods shipped from China.”


John Westwood of Blacktower Financial Management

"Retail sales remained flat thanks to weather and delivery problems. Moving forward we will see a dramatic difference between FMCG and other stores due to Covid-19.

"During these uncertain times the UK has tightened outgoings and is now looking to make its money work harder and deliver more."

Source : ONS, Insight DIY Team and Blacktower Financial Management

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26 March 2020

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