UK retail sales volumes have grown by 0.4% in August 2023 after declining 1.1% in the previous month, according to data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

During the month, sales volumes for food stores were up by 1.2% after a 2.6% drop in July 2023. However, it is still 4.1% behind pre-coronavirus February 2020 levels.

Sales volumes for non-food stores, which comprises department, clothing, household and others, increased by 0.6% in August, after a decline of 1.2% in the previous month.

The figures revealed that sales volumes for clothing and household goods stores rose by 2.3% and 1.1%, respectively, in the month.

Meanwhile, sales volumes for department stores and other non-food stores both declined by 0.4% in the month.

Non-store retailing, which predominantly includes online retailers, reported a sales volume decline of 1.3% in August 2023 after increasing by 1.9% in the previous month.

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Based on feedback from online retailers, ONS said that July “sales were boosted by the wet weather and a range of promotions.”

In addition, the percentage of retail sales fulfilled online dropped to 26.9% in August compared with 27.4% in July.

During the month, automotive fuel sales volumes decreased by 1.2%, with retailers attributing the drop to a sharp increase in petrol and diesel prices.

In the three months to August, sales volumes in the UK rose by 0.3% compared with the previous three months.

Earlier this month, data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor revealed that total retail sales in the UK have grown by 4.1% in August 2023.