UK retail sales “unexpectedly” decreased by 0.1% in October, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS said that in the three months to October retail sales increased by just 0.2%, compared with the same period last year last year, which is the “weakest” growth since April 2018, and was just 2.9% higher than a year before.
Last month alone, department stores saw sales rising due to promotional events and the early introduction to Christmas lines, as food sales decreased by 0.2% and household products fell by 1.3%
As non-store sales slumped online sales increased to 19.2% in October this year, up slightly from September 2019.
Commenting on the retail sales figures, a spokesperson for ONS said: “Retail sales increased at a slower rate in the latest three months, with growth the weakest seen since April of last year. All main sectors saw falling sales apart from food shops.
“Department store sales rebounded in October, driven by promotional events and an earlier introduction of Christmas lines. However, their sales still remain significantly down over the longer term.”