Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 455602
Frequency of release: Monthly
Geographical coverage: GB
Geographical breakdown: GB
Survey name(s): Monthly Business Survey - Retail Sales Inquiry
Users are reminded that the figures contained within this release are estimates produced from a monthly survey of 5,000 retailers in Great Britain. Unless otherwise stated, the estimates in this release are seasonally adjusted.
In April 2013, the quantity bought in the retail sector (or sales volumes) increased by 0.5% compared with April 2012. Over the same period, the amount spent in the retail sector (sales values) increased by 1.3%.
The main source of downwards pressure in both the quantity bought and the amount spent came from the food sector, where, compared with April 2012, the quantity of goods bought decreased by 3.8%, which is the lowest since June 2011. The amount spent decreased by 0.2%, which is the largest contraction on record.
The contraction in the quantity bought within the food sector leads to the level of goods bought in this sector falling to its lowest point since December 2003.
Feedback from large food store retailers suggested that the cold weather continued to impact on sales. In particular, the weather hindered sales within their spring and summer ranges, including barbecue items and garden furniture.
In April 2013, the overall proportion of non-seasonally adjusted online sales remained high at 10.0% reflecting feedback from large retailers, which suggested that during the continued cold weather consumers purchased from their online sites rather than in store.
Looking at the monthly picture, (April 2013 compared with March 2013) the quantity bought decreased by 1.3%, while the amount spent also decreased by 1.3%. Again, the largest source of downwards pressure came from the food sector, where, compared with March 2013, the quantity of goods bought decreased by 4.1%, which is the lowest since May 2011. Over the same period the amount spent in the food sector decreased by 3.5%.
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.