Retailers suffer worst volume sales since 2021 lockdowns

Volume sales dropped by 0.3% in October due to cost of living and bad weather

Retail sales fell by 0.3% last month, following a decrease of 1.1% in September 2023. The new data from Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that sales have dropped to the lowest level since 2021 lockdowns.  

“It was another poor month for household goods and clothes stores with these retailers reporting that cost of living pressures, reduced footfall and poor weather hit them hard,” said Heather Bovill, deputy director for survey and economic indicators at the ONS.

Food stores sales volumes fell by 0.3% in October 2023, from being unchanged (0.0%) in September 2023.

The news comes despite grocery price inflation falling to single-digit figures for the first time since 2022, Kantar recently reported.

Fuel sales volumes also suffered, falling by 2.0% in October 2023. In the three months to October, sales volumes fell by 0.7% when compared with the previous three months, which the ONS notes may be affected by increasing fuel prices.

Meanwhile the volume of sales, excluding fuel, decreased by 2.2% for the same period.

Yet, the figures also show that value of sales made, excluding fuel, increased by 18.2% in October 2023, when compared with February 2020.


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