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Retail Sales Continued To Grow In October

Rain SHopper Shopping - Jason Batterham Shutterstock 671551474.jpg

The ONS has published retail sales data for October 2020, advising that retail sales volumes increased by 1.2% when compared with September; the sixth consecutive month of growth in the industry.

In October, growth in the volume of sales for non-store retailing at 6.4%, household goods stores at 3.2% and department stores at 3.1% all contributed to the overall monthly increase in retail sales.

Year-on-year growth rate in the volume of retail sales saw a strong increase of 5.8%, with feedback from a range of businesses suggesting that consumers had started Christmas shopping earlier this year, further helped by early discounting from a range of stores.

Looking at October’s total retail sales values (excluding fuel), which is a comparable measure to our online series, sales increased by 7.9% when compared with February; driven by a strong increase in sales online at 52.8% in comparison to reduced store sales at negative 3.3%. 

All measures in the total retail sales industry saw an increase in October 2020. The monthly growth rate for value sales was 1.4% and for volume sales 1.2%. This was the sixth consecutive month of growth resulting in value and volume sales 5.2% and 6.7% higher respectively than in February 2020, before coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions were applied in the UK. 

In the three months to October, value sales increased by 9.2% and volume sales by 8.9% when compared with the previous three months.

In October, retail sales volumes continued to increase for the sixth consecutive month, with a monthly growth rate of 1.2%.

We see sharp falls in sales at the start of the lockdown in March and April 2020, followed by strong growth to recovery in May and June 2020. A slower rate of growth is seen in the latest three months, with volume sales in October 2020 now 6.7% higher than February’s pre-lockdown levels.

Online Retail Sales

In October 2020, we saw strong growth in value sales across all sectors when compared with the same month a year earlier. Online food sales increased by 99.2%, department stores by 87.2% and other non-food stores by 89.7% when compared with the previous year. This is because of online sales reaching higher than usual levels over the course of the pandemic. All sectors saw an increase in online sales on the month with some retailers taking advantage of promotional activity to encourage more spending.

The proportion of online sales increased to 28.5% compared with the 27.6% reported in September.

Source : ONS

Image : Jason Batterham / (671551474)

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20 November 2020

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