Skip to content

Release: Retail Sales, December 2013

Released: 17 January 2014 Next edition: 21 February 2014


Kate Davies

Retail Sales

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 455602

Categories: Economy, National Accounts, National Income, Expenditure and Output

Frequency of release: Monthly

Language: English

Geographical coverage: GB

Geographical breakdown: GB

Survey name(s): Monthly Business Survey - Retail Sales Inquiry

  • Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry showed strong growth in December 2013, increasing by 5.3% compared with December 2012. Comparing the 12 months of 2013 with the 12 months of 2012 the quantity bought in 2013 increased by 1.6% compared with 2012.

  • Non-seasonally adjusted data show that small stores experienced higher growth year-on-year than large stores with the amount spent in small stores increasing by 8.1% compared with 2.6% in large stores. Non-food stores provided the main contribution to the growth in the amount spent at small stores. 

  • The underlying pattern in the data as suggested by the three month-on-three month movement shows much weaker growth (0.4%) than suggested by the year-on-year increase (5.3%). Contractions in the quantity bought in food stores and petrol stations continued to offset growth in the quantity bought in non-food stores and non-store retailing. 

  • On the month the picture is one of strong growth with the quantity bought increasing by 2.6%. All store types saw an increase in the quantity bought but perhaps most notable is the record month-on-month increase in the quantity bought at department stores of 8.7%. 

  • In December 2013, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 6.1% compared with December 2012 and by 2.6% compared with November 2013.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in December 2013 was £8.8 billion compared with £8.5 billion in December 2012 and £7.5 billion in November 2013.

  • Internet sales, which are seasonally adjusted for the first time in this release, increased by 11.8% in December 2013 compared with December 2012 and by 1.8% compared with November 2013.

  • Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the proportion of sales made online decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 11.8% of all retail sales (excluding automotive fuel).

Contains a first estimate of retail sales in volume and value terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted

These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.