Sales in non-food stores are driving solid growth in retail sales, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Sales volume in the three months from April to June was 1.1% up on the previous three months, with non-food stores showing 1.9% growth against a decrease of 0.1% in food stores. Growth was highest for non-food stores such as sports and leisure retailers and jewellers, at 3.3%. Non-specialised stores, including department stores, showed their highest increase since May 2006, at 2.5%. However, non-store retailing, including the Internet, grew sales volume by just 1.8%, the lowest since April last year.
The total three-monthly sales volume was 3.8% up on the same period a year ago.
Between May and June non-specialised stores enjoyed the greatest increase, at 4.1%.
Over the year non-food store sales increased 5.2%, while non-specialised stores and non-store retailing both showed 7.5% growth. Food stores put on just 1.9%.