Retail sales grew in both volume and value across all subsectors except clothing in January, rebounding after December’s fall, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) retail sales data.

January saw the largest monthly sales rise since April 2021, as retail value sales grew 3.9% after a record fall in December last year.

Consumers spent more for less during the month as the rise in sales values exceeded the 3.4% rise in sales volumes. Sales volume grew 0.7% in the 12 months to January 2024.

Supermarkets were the highest contributors to the sales rise as food sales grew 3.4% in volume over the month, while non-food sales rose 3%.


Stuart Chalmers, retail industry lead at Accenture UK and Ireland, said: “Retailers will be pleased to see this boost at the start of the year, in a week that brought the unwelcome news that the UK has entered a technical recession. Sales rose in most subsectors with food stores and supermarkets contributing most but clothing retailers will be disappointed to see a drop in numbers.

“January’s retail performance will offer hope to a beleaguered sector after a challenging golden quarter. With inflation continuing to hold steady, retailers should be using data to better understand what customers want and when they want it. This approach can help to inform their broader strategy, including in their supply chains, through to in-store experiences.”