In the three months to April 2019, the quantity of goods bought in retail sales increased by 1.8%, when compared with the previous three months.
This was supported by a strong growth in non-store retailing, which reached a “record high” of 9.4%. Online retailers selling clothing items were also the driver to this growth, with the warm weather helping to boost sales.
When compared with the previous year, the quantity bought in April 2019 increased by 5.2%, with growth across all sectors except household goods, which fell by 4.5%. The quantity bought was flat (0.0%) in April 2019 when compared with the previous month, with growth in clothing, non-store retailing and fuel offset by falls in all other main sectors.
In April 2019, online retailing accounted for 18.7% of total retailing compared with 17.7% in April 2018, with an overall growth of 10.1% when compared with the same month a year earlier.
Rhian Murphy, head of retail sales at the ONS, said: “Retail growth was strong in the three months to April with a record quarter for the online sector, driven mainly by clothing purchases, with warmer weather boosting sales. Elsewhere, department stores continued to see their sales fall.”