January retail sales slide as shoppers cut back non-essential spending

Coronavirus grocery shopper

January retail sales registered the sharpest decline since last May as customers reined in spending and lockdown hammered store sales.

Total retail sales in the four weeks to January 30 fell 1.3% year on year as like-for-like sales from stores that continue to operate under lockdown measures registered a 7.1% uplift.

Total sales during the period declined for the first time since last May, with the 1.3% decline below the three-month average growth of 0.3% and above the 12-month average decline of 0.4%.

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