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UK Retail Sales Report | Insight & Analysis

October 2021

What's included in this report?

  • Overview of UK retail sales
  • Retail sales growth by category Y-o-Y
  • Online sales growth (Y-o-Y)
  • Retail sales by region (£m)
  • Total spend by sector
  • Weekly spend (£m)
  • Footfall stats by channel
  • External data source summaries
  • Regional weather data

UK Retail Sales Report : October 2021

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Report Summary

Period covered: 01 Jan 2021 – 31 Jan 2021

Note: Reporting periods are either one month or two months behind the current month as standard.

Retail sales fell by 1.7% in January, year-on-year, according to the Retail Economics Retail Sales Index (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. Fuel). There was a sharp polarisation between the performance of food (+9.1%) and non-food (-12.2%). However, there was a significant shift towards online as consumers reverted seamlessly to lockdown shopping behaviour.

Online sales rose by 75.1% (value, non-seasonally adjusted) on the previous year, accounting for 36.3% of retail sales in January (value and non-seasonally adjusted). Online food remained in strong demand with sales rising by 144.5% on the previous year. Average weekly sales for online food rose to £415.8 million, up from £170.1 million in January 2020.

There is a strong correlation between consumers who believe their shopping habits will change on a permanent basis, with those who say that they will do more online shopping even after the impact of the pandemic resides. The motivation for a more permanent behavioural shift towards online shopping was strongest for the most affluent households, particularly for those aged between 25 and 44 years old.

Retail Economics forecasts that online sales will fall from 28.1% of total sales in 2020 to 26.% in 2021 – representing a significant step change in the proportion of sales occurring online. Our research shows that around 40% of consumer say that parts of their spending behaviour will change on a permanent basis because of the impact of the virus.

Lockdown undermines non-food sales

Source: Retail Economics

Latest monthly UK Retail Sales Report

Report: January 2021 Retail sales rose by 0.8% in December, year-on-year, according to Retail Economics. Total online retail sales rose by 45.8% in December, value and non-seasonally adjusted, according to ONS. Overall consumer confidence stood at -26... read more
Report: December 2020 Retail sales rose by 2.3% in November, year-on-year, according to the Retail Economics Retail Sales Index (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. Fuel) – despite the closure of non-essential retail for large parts of the count... read more
Report: November 2020 Retail sales rose by 5.0% in September, year-on-year, according to the Retail Economics Retail Sales Index (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. Fuel). This was the strongest performance since April 2017. Food sales remain... read more
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Report Contents

UK Retail Sales Report Report
  • Executive Summary
  • Retail Sales Comparison
  • UK Overview
  • UK Retail Sales Report
  • Retail Economics Sales Index
  • ONS Retail Sales Index
  • BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor
  • CBI Distributive Trades Survey
  • John Lewis Weekly Sales Figures
  • BDO High Street Sales Tracker
  • Visa Consumer Spending Index
  • UK Retail Sales by Sector
  • Food and Grocery
  • Clothing & Footwear
  • Homewares
  • Furniture & Flooring
  • DIY & Gardening
  • Electricals
  • Health & Beauty
  • Online Retail Sale
  • UK Forecasts
  • Met Office Weather Analysis

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Retail Economics publishes monthly UK Online Retail Sales reports providing intelligent analysis covering a range of retail sales indices giving you cutting edge insights that you can action within your business.

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