It comes after two consecutive months of decline in November 2019 at 0.8% and December at 0.5%, and the ONS said the increase in sales in January was attributed to “moderate growth” in both food stores (1.7%) and non-food stores (1.3%).
However, in the three months to January 2020, the quantity bought in the retail sales industry fell by 0.8% when compared with the previous three months, with declines across all sectors.
Additionally, online sales as a proportion of all retailing was 19% in January 2020, down from 19.3% in December 2019.
Total retail sales decreased by 0.1% in 2019, compared with the 1.2% increase recorded in 2018, and Helen Dickinson, CEO of the BRC, said this was reflected in the CVAs, shop closures and job losses that the industry suffered during the year.
This was in addition to “political instability” that concluded in a December General Election – resulting in “weakened” demand over the festive period.