The latest figures showed declines across all segments except non-food stores. The 0.1% growth fell short of the predicted increase of 0.5%.
When compared with January 2017, the quantity bought in January 2018 increased by 1.6%; a slowdown to year-on-year growth when compared with an increase of 2.4% in January 2017.
The year-on-year growth rate for quantity bought in food stores showed a decline for the sixth consecutive month with a drop of 0.9%, due largely to a continued rise in food store prices.
Sports equipment, games and toys contributed largely to the growth in the non-food sector, with a 10.9% increase sales in the quantity bought.
January internet sales saw a decrease when compared with December 2017; accounting for 16.5% of all retail. However, this was an increase on the January 2017 figure of 15.8%.
Rhian Murphy, ONS senior statistician, said: “Retail sales growth was broadly flat at the beginning of the new year with the longer-term picture showing a continued slowdown in the sector. This can partly be attributed to a background of generally rising prices.”