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In December 2021, retail sales in Great Britain totalled £10.2 billion per week, up from £9.5 billion in November. This figure includes money spent in shops, supermarkets, in petrol stations and online.

Between November and December 2021, the total quantity of retail sales fell by 3.7%, following growth of 1.0% between October and November.

In the three months to December 2021, the volume of sales increased by 0.4% compared to the same period in 2020. The volume of sales was 2.6% higher in December 2021 than pre-pandemic levels (Feb 2020).

The decrease in sales in December 2021 was led by non-food stores, such as department stores, household, and clothing stores. Non-food store sales fell by 7.1% in December compared to November. Non-food sales were strong in November due to Black Friday and early Christmas shopping. Retailers reported that the Omicron variant impacted footfall in December 2021. Non-food sales were 2.3% below pre-pandemic levels in December 2021.

Sales in food stores fell by 1.0% in December compared to November but remained above pre-pandemic levels (2.0% above February 2020).

The average weekly value of internet sales was £2.2 billion in December 2021 (excluding fuel). This was 27.7% of all retail sales (including fuel), down from November (30.1%) and high relative to pre-pandemic levels. 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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