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 March 2013, the quantity bought in the retail sector (or sales volumes) decreased by 0.5%. This follows strong year-on-year growth of 2.5% in February 2013 and a year-on-year decrease in January of 0.6%. Quarter 1 2013 does however show an increase of 0.4% compared with Quarter 4 2012 .
The largest contribution to the year-on-year decrease came from the non-food sector, where compared with March 2012, the quantity of goods bought decreased by 2.6%.
March 2013 was the second coldest on record and this appears to have had a negative effect on sales in the non-food sector. Feedback from department stores, clothing stores and household goods stores suggested that sales were dampened by the weather as they prepared their stores for the spring season.
In March 2013, the overall proportion of non-seasonally adjusted online sales remained high at 10.4% reflecting feedback from large retailers, which suggested that during the continued winter weather consumers purchased from their online sites rather than in store.
The amount spent (or sales values) in the retail sector increased by 0.1% between March 2012 and March 2013. The largest contributions came from the food and non-store retailing sectors.
Looking at the monthly picture, (March 2013 compared with February 2013) the quantity bought decreased by 0.7%, whilst the amount spent remained unchanged at 0.0%.
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