Clothing and footwear stores saw a fall in retail sales volumes of 0.6% in March this year,against a 1.3% rise in the overall volume of retail sales, excluding petrol, compared to the same month a year ago. But the figures, released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), show the value of overall retail sales in the same period increased by 4.5%.
Compared to the previous month, overall retail sales volumes for March were up by 0.2% and the value of retail sales increased by 0.1%.
These figures are at odds with those released earlier this month by the British Retail Consortium which said that total retail sales for the first three months of this year fell 1.9% year-on-year, with like-for-likes down 3.5% year-on-year.
According to the ONS the largest contributors to the change in sales volumes came from non-food stores which increased by 8.2% and non-store retailing which increased by 13.1%.
The sector experiencing the largest fall in retail sales was household goods stores which fell by 7.7% driven by a decline in DIY store sales.
All stores, with the exception of household goods, experienced increases in the value of retail sales and prices across all stores are estimated to have risen by 3.4% over the year from March 2010 to March 2011.