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Clothing and small stores perform well in November

Clothing was one of the strongest performing retail categories in November, with small stores outperforming their larger rivals, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

Spending rose 2.7% in the sector as a whole, with the quantity of goods bought rising by 2% on the same month last year. Clothing grew strongly in both volume and value, but department stores, food retailing and petrol stations underperformed, resulting in just a 0.3% month-on-month rise.

More than £3.8bn was spent on clothing or footwear, up from £3.4bn in October and £3.57bn in November 2012. The category now accounts for 12.2% of all retail sales.

Online sales as a proportion of the total increased by 1.4 percentage points, to a record high of 11.9%, with department stores recording an average of 11.4% of sales coming from online, although the ONS noted this “at the same time detracted from sales in store”.

Non-seasonally adjusted data also suggested that small stores bested large stores with the amount spent in small stores up 4.5% year-on-year, compared with 2.9% in large stores. 

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