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In August 2020, retail sales in Great Britain totalled £7.6 billion per week, down from £7.8 billion in July. This figure includes money spent in shops, supermarkets, in petrol stations and online.

Over the year to August, the volume of retail sales increased by 2.8%. Between July and August, the quantity of retail sales rose by 0.8%, compared with an increase of 3.6% between June and July. August was the fourth consecutive month of growth following the drop in sales due to the pandemic. However, the rate of growth has slowed and there is still a mixed picture across different sectors.

Sales by sector

The volume of sales in food stores in the three months to August 2020 was up 4.4% on the same period last year. Although continuing to recover, sales in non-food stores have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. The volume of sales in non-food stores was down 10.1% in the three months to August compared to last year. 

Internet sales

The average weekly value of internet sales was £2.0 billion in July 2020, up 51.6% on the previous year.

This was 26.6% of all retail sales, down slightly from 28.0% in July 2020. Internet sales as a proportion of all retail sales have been rising steadily since 2006, though this trend appeared to be ending in 2019, with internet sales plateauing at around 20% of all sales. They have now been over 25% of all retail sales since April, reflecting changes in shopping habits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


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