The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recorded the steepest decline in retail sales in March since the tracker was launched in 1996.
Despite a surge in grocery sales, overall retail sales plunged 5.1% month on month in March, exacerbated by a 34.8% plummet in clothing sales.
The ONS attributed the sharp decline to the government ordering non-essential store closures on March 23.
Food and online sales were the category to register growth during the period, with grocery sales registering the strongest growth of 10.4%. Online sales accounted for a record 22.3% of overall retail sales in the month as shoppers flocked online amid store closures.
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