Economy

Retail sales return to growth in October

Non-food stores also saw a rise in sales volumes by 4.2% during the period, with second-hand stores, toy stores and sports equipment stores rising by 6.2%

October Retail sales volumes rose by 0.8%, according to the latest data by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Non-food stores also saw a rise in sales volumes by 4.2% during the period, with second-hand stores, toy stores and sports equipment stores growing by 6.2%.

Meanwhile, clothing stores sales volumes in October 2021 were only 0.5% below pre-pandemic levels, with some retailers suggesting that early Christmas trading had boosted sales.

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However, the proportion of retail sales online fell to 27.3% in October 2021, its lowest level since March 2020 (22.5%), but still substantially higher than the 19.7% in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic.

Aled Patchett, head of retail and consumer goods at Lloyds Bank, said: “October’s return to form – boosted in part by Halloween sales – suggests that inflation and the squeeze on household budgets have yet to curtail spending.

“Indeed, a high proportion of consumers are doing their Christmas shopping early this year given supply chain uncertainty and the potential for product shortages closer to the big day.”

He added: “It seems likely that consumers will be tightening their belts in the new year, particularly as some will be gearing up for a bumper Christmas after last year’s subdued festive season.”

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