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Retail Sales, October 2011 - Summary

Released: 17 November 2011 Download PDF

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Retail Sales Index Points

Index Points of Retail Sales for GB
Source: Monthly Business Survey - Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

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Retail Sales growth in October

In October 2011, all retail sales volumes increased by 0.9 per cent and the value of sales increased by 5.4 per cent compared to October 2010. Compared to September 2011 sales volumes increased by 0.6 per cent and the value of sales increased by 0.7 per cent.  Feedback from retailers suggests that the monthly increase in sales volume and value was a result of pre- Christmas sales and in store promotions. 

Concentrating on sales volumes between October 2010 and October 2011, sales volumes for the four main sectors increased:

  • Non-store retailing increased by 11.7 and provides 0.6 percentage points.

  • Stores selling predominantly automotive fuel increased by 1.1 per cent and provides 0.1 percentage point.

  • Predominantly food stores increased by 0.3 per cent and provides 0.1 percentage point, this is the first year on year increase in this series since April 2011.

  • Predominantly non-food stores increased by 0.1 per cent and also provides 0.1 percentage points.

In predominantly non-food stores there were mixed results:

  • Non-specialised stores or department stores sales volumes increased by 2.3 per cent and household goods stores sales volumes increased by 0.3 per cent. 

  • Stores selling textile, clothing and footwear sales volumes decreased by 1.0 per cent and other stores decreased by 0.3 per cent.

Looking at the non-seasonally adjusted year on year all retail sales volume data, small stores i.e. those with employment of less than 100, fared better than large stores, as small stores increased by 5.3 per cent and large stores decreased by 0.3 per cent.

Approximately £26.8 billion was spent on retail goods during October 2011, up from £25.4 billion in the same month last year.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. The October 2011 period covered four weeks from 2 October 2011 to 29 October 2011.
  2. Care should be taken when using monthly growth rates due to their volatility.
  3. Retail sales volume is the total takings adjusted for inflation and the value of retail sales is the total actual takings.
  4. Unless specified, all volume statistics referred to above are seasonally adjusted and chainlinked.
  5. Sales refer to average weekly sales.
  6. The 'All Retailing' estimate includes the sale of automotive fuel.
  7. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:
  8. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

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

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