|All retailers, October 2011 (seasonally adjusted percentage change)|
|Most recent month on a year earlier||Most recent 3 months on a year earlier||Most recent month on previous month||Most recent 3 months on previous 3 months|
|Value excluding automotive fuel||4.1||3.5||0.8||1.5|
|Volume excluding automotive fuel||0.9||0.1||0.6||0.4|
In October 2011 compared to September 2011, all retail sales volume increased by 0.6 per cent and sales value increased by 0.7 per cent. Feedback from retailers suggests that the monthly increase in sales volume and value was a result of pre-Christmas sales and in store promotions.
Over the period October 2010 to October 2011 prices are estimated to have increased by 4.4 per cent which is lower than in September 2011 where they were estimated to have increased by 4.9 per cent compared to September 2010.
Concentrating on the year on year estimates, October 2011 compared to October 2010 the all retail sales volume increased by 0.9 per cent and sales value increased by 5.4 per cent
Over this period, sales volumes for the four main sectors show sales volume increases in:
predominantly food stores up 0.3 per cent
predominantly non-food stores up 0.1 per cent
non-store retailing up 11.7 per cent
predominantly automotive fuel stores up 1.1 per cent
There were mixed results however for the sectors that make up predominantly non-food stores:
Non-specialised stores or department stores sales volumes increased by 2.3 per cent and household goods stores sales volumes increased by 0.3 per cent.
Stores selling textile, clothing and footwear sales volumes decreased by 1.0 per cent and other stores decreased by 0.3 per cent.
Looking at the non-seasonally adjusted year on year all retail sales volume data, small stores i.e. those with employment of less than 100, fared better than large stores:
Small stores increased by 5.3 per cent
Large stores decreased by 0.3 per cent
All stores increased by 0.9 per cent
Looking now at the sector non-seasonally adjusted year on year estimates we see that in sectors with sales volume increases this increase was driven by increases within small stores.
|All stores||Large stores||Small stores|
|Predominantly food stores||0.3||-1.0||8.5|
|Predominantly non-food stores||0.1||-0.4||1.5|
|Non-specialised non food stores||1.8||0.8||14.1|
|Textile, clothing and footwear stores||-0.9||-0.5||-4.0|
|Household goods stores||0.5||-3.5||10.6|
The Retail Sales Index (RSI) measures spending (value) and volume of retail sales in Great Britain. Figures are adjusted for seasonal variations unless otherwise stated and the reference year for both value and volume statistics is 2008 = 100. For an explanation of the terms used in this bulletin, please see the background notes section. Care should be taken when using the month on month growth rates due to their volatility, an assessment of the quality of the retail statistics is available in the background notes.
|Year on year growth rates and contribution to all retailing by sector|
|% of all retailing||Volume (SA) Year on year growth (%)||Contribution to all retailing (% points)||Value (SA) Year on year growth (%)||Contribution to all retailing (% points)|
|Predominantly food stores||41.7||0.3||0.1||5.3||2.3|
|Predominantly non-food stores|
|Textile, clothing and footwear stores||12.2||-1.0||-0.1||2.6||0.3|
|Household goods stores||9.7||0.3||0.0||1.4||0.2|
In October 2011 an estimated £26.8 billion was spent in the retail sector, compared to £32.0 billion in September 2011 and £25.4 billion in October 2010.
Volume sales in October 2011 increased by 0.3 per cent compared to October 2010 and is only the second year on year growth within this series in 2011, with April being the other month to post growth. Sales values increased by 5.3 per cent over the same period and the reason behind this increase can be found in the prices of goods sold at these stores which are estimated to have increased by 5.0 per cent. Feedback from retailers suggests that this increase in sales volumes and values is a result of promotions.
Non-seasonally adjusted data for this sector shows that again small stores fared better than their larger counterparts, with small stores ie. those with employment less than 100 increasing by 8.5 per cent with sales volumes at large stores decreasing by 1.0 per cent.
In the non-specialised food stores sub-sector which could be described as supermarkets or corner shops, year on year non-seasonally adjusted data shows sales volumes increasing by 0.4 per cent in all stores with small stores increasing by 15.6 per cent and large stores decreasing by 1.0 per cent.
Non-seasonally adjusted data for the other sub-sectors in predominantly food stores shows that year on year sales volumes in specialised food stores decreased by 7.3 per cent and in stores selling alcohol, other drinks and tobacco increased by 19.0 per cent.
In October 2011 an estimated £10.8 billion was spent in this sector, the equivalent of 40 pence per pound spent in retail during this month.
Volume sales in October 2011 increased by 0.1 per cent compared to October 2010 with the largest increase in this sector coming from non-specialised stores. Over the same period sales volumes in household goods stores increased by 0.3 per cent, in textile, clothing and footwear stores decreased by 1.0 per cent and in other stores decreased by 0.3 per cent.
Sales values increased by 1.9 per cent in October 2011 compared to October 2010. All sub-sectors experienced increases in sales values with non-specialised food stores increasing by 3.1 per cent, textile, clothing and footwear stores increasing by 2.6 per cent, household goods stores increasing by 1.4 per cent and other stores increasing by 1.0 per cent.
The prices of goods sold in predominantly non-food stores are estimated to have risen by 1.9 per cent. An estimated £11.3 billion was spent in this sector in October 2011 the equivalent of 48 pence per pound spent in retail sector this month and more than any other sector.
Volume sales in October 2011 increased by 2.3 per cent compared to October 2010 more than in any other non-food sub-sector. Sales values within this sector increased by 3.1 per cent. Feedback provided by retailers in this sector suggests that these increases are a result of promotions.
The prices of goods sold within these stores are estimated to have increased by 0.8 per cent and an estimated £2.0 billion was spent within this sector in October 2011.
Sales volumes fell more in October 2011 than in any other sector decreasing by 1.0 per cent compared to October 2010 sales values increased by 2.6 per cent over the same period. Compared to September 2011 sales volumes and values both increased with sales volumes increasing by 0.5 per cent and sales values increasing by 1.3 per cent. Feedback from retailers in this sector suggests that this monthly increase was a result of promotions and consumers purchasing winter clothing.
Non-seasonally adjusted data shows that only the footwear sector experienced year on year growth with sales volumes increasing by 3.4 per cent. Non-seasonally adjusted sales volumes in clothing stores decreased by 1.1 per cent and in textiles stores decreased by 16.4 per cent.
The prices of goods sold within these stores are estimated to have increased by 3.8 per cent and an estimated £3.4 billion was spent in this sector in October 2011.
Sales volumes increased by 0.3 per cent in October 2011 compared to October 2010 and sales values increased by 1.4 per cent over the same period. However, it was a mixed picture for the stores within this sector.
Non-seasonally adjusted data shows that only electrical household appliance stores experienced growth with sales volumes increasing by 6.4 per cent over the period October 2010 to October 2011. Furniture and lighting stores sales volumes decreased by 0.6 per cent, sales volumes in hardware or DIY stores fell by 1.4 per cent and the biggest decrease was in those stores selling music and video recordings and equipment where sales volumes fell by 12.1 per cent over the same period.
The prices of goods sold within these stores are estimated to have increased by 1.2 per cent compared to October 2010 and an estimated £2.4 billion was spent in these stores in October 2011.
Sales volumes fell by 0.3 per cent in October 2011 compared to October 2010 and sales values increased by 1.0 per cent. Within this sector there were a mixed set of results for retailers. Stores selling computers and telecomms; watches and jewellery; or toys and sporting goods saw sales volumes increase year on year but stores selling carpets and rugs or cosmetics and toiletries saw sales volumes decrease over the same period.
The prices of goods sold within these stores are estimated to have increased by 1.1 per cent year on year and an estimated £3.4 billion was spent in these stores in October 2011.
Sales volumes increased by 11.7 per cent in October 2011 compared to October 2010 and sales values increased by 13.0 per cent over the same period.
Non-store retailing prices are estimated to have increased by 1.2 per cent year on and an estimated £1.5 billion was spent in this sector in October 2011.
Stores sales volumes, which includes the sale of automotive fuel at supermarkets, increased in October 2011 by 1.1 per cent compared to October 2010 and sales values increased by 16.1 per cent over the same period. The prices of goods sold within these stores are estimated to have risen by 14.8 per cent. An estimated £3.1 billion was spent in these stores in October 2011.
Based on ONS experimental Internet sales series, the non-seasonally adjusted average weekly value of Internet retail sales in October 2011 was £561.5 million which was approximately 9.5 per cent of total retail sales (excluding automotive fuel), compared with October 2010 which was £464.8 million which was approximately 8.2 per cent of total retail sales (excluding automotive fuel).
The table below illustrates the mix of experiences among different sized retailers. It shows the distribution of the reported growth of businesses in the RSI sample, ranked by size of business (based on number of employment). For example, this shows that the largest retailers, with 100 or more employment, reported an average increase in sales of 4.3 per cent between October 2010 and October 2011.
|Number of employment||Weights (%)||Growth since October 2010 (%)|
The table below illustrates the extent to which individual businesses experienced actual changes in their sales between October 2010 and October 2011. The table contains information only from businesses which reported in both periods. Cells with values less than 10 are suppressed for some classification categories, this is denoted by n.a.. Note that large is defined as 100+ employment and 10-99 employment with annual turnover of more than £60m, while small and medium is defined as 0-99 employment.
|Changes in reported retail sales between October 2010 and October 2011 standard reporting periods (by size of business)|
|Pre-dominantly food||Non-specialised pre-dominantly non-food||Textile, clothing and footwear||House-hold goods||Other non-food||Non-store retailing||Pre-dominantly automotive fuel||Total All Retailing including automotive fuel|
RSI October 2011 Tables (16.24 Mb Pdf) pulls together numerous tables and is available in pdf format.
National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. © Crown copyright 2011.
The RSI covers sales only from businesses registered as retailers according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), an internationally agreed convention for classifying industries. The retail sector is division 47 of the SIC 2007 and retailing is defined as the sale of goods to the general public for household consumption. Consequently the RSI includes all internet businesses whose primary function is retailing and also covers internet sales by other British retailers, such as online sales by supermarkets, department stores and catalogue companies.
The RSI does not cover household spending on services bought from the retail sector as it is designed to only cover goods. Respondents are asked to separate out the non-goods elements of their sales, e.g. income from cafeterias. Consequently on-line sales of services by retailers, such as car insurance, would also be excluded.
The monthly survey collects two figures from each sampled business: the total turnover for retail sales for the standard trading period, and a separate figure for sales made over the internet. The total turnover will include internet sales. The separation of the internet sales figure allows an estimate relating to internet sales to be calculated separately.
The volume or constant price series are constructed by removing the effect of price changes from the value series. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the main source of the information required on price changes. In brief, a deflator for each type of store (5-digit SIC) is derived by weighting together the CPI’s for the appropriate commodities, the weights being based on the pattern of sales in the base year. These deflators are then applied to the value data to produce volume series.
The estimated prices of retail sales (sometimes called the implied price deflator) is derived by comparing the value and volume data non-seasonally adjusted. In general, this implied price deflator should be quite close to the retail component of the CPI.
Experimental statistics are those which are in the testing phase and are not yet fully developed. The main reason why the Internet retail sales are designated as experimental is that the methods and data sources are still being improved. More information on the
internet retail sales strategy.
(27.5 Kb Pdf)
Information on retail sales methodology is available on our guidance and methodolgy pages.
A video explaining retail sales is available on the
ONS You Tube Channel
|Overall response rates|
The following table shows the difference between the calendar and seasonally adjusted estimates.
|Year on year percentage change|
The non-seasonally adjusted series contain elements relating to the impact of the standard reporting period, moving seasonality and trading day activity. When making comparisons it is recommended that users focus on the seasonally adjusted estimates as these have the systematic calendar related component removed. Due to the volatility of the monthly data, it is recommended that growth rates are calculated using an average of the latest three months of the seasonally adjusted estimates.
When interpreting the data, consideration should be given to the relative weighted contributions of the sectors within the all retailing series. Based on SIC 2007 data, Total retail sales consists of: predominantly food stores 41.7 per cent, predominantly non-food stores 43.2 per cent, non-store retailing 4.9 per cent and automotive fuel 10.2 per cent.
This report describes, in detail the intended uses of the statistics presented in this publication, their general quality and the methods used to produce them.
|Revisions between first publication and estimates twelve months later (percentage points)|
|Volume seasonally adjusted||Growth in latest period (per cent)||average over the last five years (mean revision)||average over the last five years without regard to sign (average absolute revision)|
|Latest three months compared to previous three months||0.3||-0.19||0.30|
|latest month compared to previous month||0.6||-0.06||0.41|
A spreadsheet giving these estimates and the calculations behind the averages in the table is available to download under "data in this release".
Methodological changes were introduced in the April 2009 and January 2010 releases. More detail on changes in 2010 include
More detail on changes in 2009 include
For videos on retail sales please see the
ONS You Tube Channel
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office. Also available is a list of the organisations given pre-publication access (48.2 Kb Pdf) to the contents of this bulletin.
The complete run of data in the tables of this statistical bulletin is available to view and download in electronic format using the ONS Time Series Data service. Users can download the complete bulletin in a choice of zipped formats, or view and download their own sections of individual series. The Time Series Data can be accessed on the ONS website. Alternatively, for low-cost tailored data call 0845 601 3034 or email email@example.com
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
|Kate Davies||+44 (0)1633 455602||Retail Salesemail@example.com|