Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

UK retail sales fall in February, says ONS

The value of retail sales fell 0.8% in February, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Retail sales volumes dipped well below economists forecasts 0.8% on the month to give an annual rise of 1.0%.

Textiles contributed 12.2% of all retail sales in February including fuel while household goods accounted for 9.7%. The monthly drop was driven by a fall in sales of fine art and antiques as the “other stores” category recorded its sharpest fall since January 2010. Sales value was down 0.4% on January’s figures.

An estimated £10.6bn was spent in the sector in February.

The proportion of retail sales made online is estimated to have been 10.7% of all retail sales excluding fuel in February 2012.

Retail Vision consultant John Ibbotson said: “These figures are mildly encouraging but retail sales will almost certainly remain flat for the rest of the year.

“While consumers are slightly more confident than they were this time last year, they’re still erring on the side of caution.”

He added: “On top of the economic downturn retailers are still coming to terms with the shift of consumers to online. Sad as it is, the British high street is on borrowed time. Mary Portas is no Mary Poppins.”

“Strong retail sales will return, but when they do come back it will be through online channels.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.