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In August 2021, retail sales in Great Britain totalled £7.8 billion per week, down by £0.2 billion from July. This figure includes money spent in shops, supermarkets, in petrol stations and online.

Between July and August 2021, the total quantity of retail sales decreased by 0.9%, following a fall of 2.8% between June and July.

In the three months to August 2021, the volume of retail sales was 0.3% above the same period last year (which included part of the first lockdown in 2020). The volume of sales was 4.6% higher in August 2021 than pre-pandemic levels (Feb 2020).

The decrease in sales in August 2021 came from both food stores (which fell by 1.2% compared with July and non-food stores (which fell by 1.0% compared with July, across all sub-sectors). Sales in food stores remained above pre-pandemic levels. In August 2021, sales in non-food stores were 0.4% above pre-pandemic levels (Feb 2020).

The average weekly value of internet sales was £2.0 billion in August 2021 (excluding fuel). This was 25.5% of all retail sales (including fuel), unchanged from July 2021 but still 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 27% of all sales since.


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