January saw retail sales growth decline to its lowest level since May of last year, figures by the BRC and KPMG show.
According to the pair’s sales monitor, total retail sales dropped by 1.3% in January compared to 0.4% in January 2020 as national lockdown measures continue to disrupt trading.
It was also found over the three months to January, in-store sales of non-food items declined 36.5% on a total and 19.8% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month total average decline of 28.3%.
With supermarkets allowed to operate normally due to its essentials status; food sales increased 7.5% on a like-for-like basis. This is higher than the 12-month total average growth of 6.1%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, BRC said: “The current lockdown has hit non-essential retailers harder than in November, with the new variant hampering consumer confidence and leading customers to hold back on spending – especially on clothing and footwear.
“Meanwhile, retailers have worked incredibly hard to expand their online delivery and click and collect offerings to ensure everyone can get the products they need during lockdown.”
She added: “This has led to record growth for online non-food sales and is a testament to the resilience and innovation of retail, which in the face of the pandemic, has rapidly adapted and invested in online platforms and delivery logistics.”