The rise was driven by strong sales of household goods and the performance of the non-store retail and repair sector.
Household goods sales volume rose 4.2 per cent over the three months – the biggest increase since August 2007 – on the back of discounting.
Rising internet sales meant the non-store retail and repair sector recorded its biggest increase since records began in 1986, up 8.3 per cent.
Month-on-month, textiles, clothing and footwear recorded the biggest volume rise in January. Heavy discounting powered a 6.1 per cent advance.
The average weekly value of sales in January was£4.8bn – a 2.8 per cent rise year on year. In the three months from November to January, the value of food sales climbed 1 per cent but non-food was down 1.6 per cent.
Internet sales accounted for 3.7 per cent of total retail sales in January, generating sales by value of£178m per week.