UK Statistics

Statistical bulletin: Retail Sales, March 2013

Statistical bulletin: Retail Sales, March 2013

Released: 18 April 2013


Key Points

  • Users are reminded that the figures contained within this release are estimates produced from a monthly survey of 5,000 retailers in Great Britain. Unless otherwise stated, the estimates in this release are seasonally adjusted.
  • In March 2013, the quantity bought in the retail sector (or sales volumes) decreased by 0.5%. This follows strong year-on-year growth of 2.5% in February 2013 and a year-on-year decrease in January of 0.6%. Quarter 1 2013 does however show an increase of 0.4% compared with Quarter 4 2012.
  • The largest contribution to the year-on-year decrease came from the non-food sector, where compared with March 2012, the quantity of goods bought decreased by 2.6%.
  • March 2013 was the second coldest on record and this appears to have had a negative effect on sales in the non-food sector. Feedback from department stores, clothing stores and household goods stores suggested that sales were dampened by the weather as they prepared their stores for the spring season.
  • In March 2013, the overall proportion of non-seasonally adjusted online sales remained high at 10.4% reflecting feedback from large retailers, which suggested that during the continued winter weather consumers purchased from their online sites rather than in store.
  • The amount spent (or sales values) in the retail sector increased by 0.1% between March 2012 and March 2013. The largest contributions came from the food and non-store retailing sectors.
  • Looking at the monthly picture, (March 2013 compared with February 2013) the quantity bought decreased by 0.7%, whilst the amount spent remained unchanged at 0.0%.
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Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

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