Clothing, textile and footwear retail sales dropped last month on the back of mild weather conditions, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The findings show clothing, textile and footwear stores saw sales values drop by 2.1% and volumes dip by 1.5% in the period between 1 to 28 October, compared with September.
Sales by value at stores inched up by 1.4% on the previous year, but volumes fell by 1.8% compared to 2016.
ONS said textile, clothing and footwear stores were the only non-food retailers missing out on rises in monthly sales values and quantities.
Feedback from clothing retailers said a “particularly mild” October meant that consumers delayed their winter clothing purchases.
ONS noted the total amount spent across non-food stores increased by 1.7% year-on-year, after prices rose in all sectors when compared with October 2016.
Prices were 2.5% higher than a year ago within non-food stores.
The figures occur against a backdrop where total UK retail sales quantities fell by 0.3% in October, compared to the same month in 2016.
UK sales by value however, climbed by 2.8% year-on-year.
ONS senior statistician Kate Davies said: “We are continuing to see an underlying picture of steady growth in retail sales, although this October suffered in comparison with a very strong October in 2016.”
Rachel Lund, head of retail insight and analytics at the British Retail Consortium, said the figures show “little cause to start the Christmas celebrations”.
Lund said: “[If] we unpick the data, we can see that sales were down year on year, with volumes falling for the first time in four years and value growth slowing sharply. A good October last year did make it harder to outperform this year, but that’s not the whole story.
“UK retailers are feeling the impact of the consumer spending squeeze. In fact, when we strip out growth in spending on fuel, retail sales volumes barely grew on the previous month, a month in which sales fell.”