The quantity bought in May 2019 decreased by 0.5% when compared with the previous month, with a strong decline of 4.5% in clothing sales, according to new figures from the ONS.
However, in the three months to May 2019, the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 1.6% when compared with the previous three months, with growth across all stores except department stores and household goods stores.
The fall of 0.9% in the quantity bought in department stores in the three months to May 2019 was the eighth consecutive month of no positive growth in this sector.
During the month, online retailing accounted for 19.3% of total retailing, with an overall growth of 8.2% when compared with the same month a year earlier.
Rhian Murphy, head of retail sales at the ONS, said: “Retail sales continued to grow in the latest three months despite two consecutive monthly falls, with clothing sales declining considerably in May, due to unseasonably cold weather.
“We see quite a mixed picture across the rest of the sector as the decline in department store sales continued, with no growth since September of last year.”