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In January 2021, retail sales in Great Britain totalled £6.7 billion per week, down from £9.7 billion in November. This figure includes money spent in shops, supermarkets, in petrol stations and online.

Over the year to January, the total volume of retail sales declined by 5.9%. Between December and January, the quantity of retail sales fell by 5.2%, compared to 0.3% growth between November and December.

The volume of sales in food stores was up 5.3% in the three months to January 2021 on the same period last year.

In non-food stores, sales volumes were down 12.3% in the three months to January 2021 compared to the same period last year. Non-food store sales in January were 26.6% below pre-pandemic levels (February 2020). Clothing stores were the largest driver of the fall in sales in January.

The average weekly value of internet sales was £2.6 billion in January 2021, up 72.7% on the year. This was 36.3% of all retail sales (including fuel), up from 31.3% in December 2020 – a record high.

Internet sales as a proportion of all retail sales have been rising steadily since 2006, reaching around 20% of all sales in 2019. Internet sales rose significantly in April 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, representing over 25% of all sales since.  


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