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Coldest December in 100 years chills food sales

Food sales decreased by 3.4 per cent, the lowest on record since the series began in January 1988.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Coldest December in 100 years chills food sales

Food sales decreased by 3.4 per cent, the lowest on record since the series began in January 1988.

The December 2010 period covered five weeks from 28 November to 1 January 2011.

Year on year, there was no change in the volume of retail sales in December. Predominantly food stores decreased by 3.4%,  the eleventh consecutive fall.

Predominantly non-food stores increased by 3.1% with rises across all sectors in this area apart from household goods stores which decreased by 8.6% – the sixth consecutive fall. The largest rise was other stores at 10.2%. Non-store retailing increased by 14.5%.

Between November and December total sales volume decreased by 0.8%. Predominantly food stores decreased by 0.9% while predominantly non-food stores decreased by 0.6%. Within predominantly non-food stores, non-specialised stores increased by 0.3 per cent and other stores increased by 0.5%.  Conversely, textile clothing and footwear stores decreased by 2.0% and household goods stores decreased by 0.9%.  Non-store retailing increased by 5.4%, the largest rise since March 2009 when it was 5.8%.

Sales volume in the three months October to December increased by 0.2% compared to the previous three months – July to September. Predominantly food stores decreased by 0.1% while predominantly non-food stores increased by 0.3%. Within predominantly non-food stores there were decreases across all sectors apart from other stores which increased by 4.0%. The largest decrease was household goods stores at 2.8%. Non-store retailing increased by 2.5%.

Total sales volume in the three months to December was 0.4% higher than the same period a year ago. Predominantly food stores decreased by 2.4% while predominantly non-food stores increased by 3.3%. Within predominantly non-food stores there were rises across all sectors apart from household goods stores which decreased by 7.0%. The largest rise was other stores at 8.4%. Non-store retailing increased by 11.4%.

The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales for December 2010 was 2.0% higher than in December 2009. For the three months to December 2010, it was 2.6% higher than the same period a year earlier.

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