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News : UK Economy Last Updated: Sep 15, 2011 - 3:30 PM


UK retail sales volumes fell 0.2% in August when urban riots disrupted normal store activity
By Finfacts Team
Sep 15, 2011 - 1:55 PM

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Westfield Stratford City, opened this week in London's East End, on a once urban wasteland. The vast mall brought the idea of the London Olympics ever closer. It was the only major retail shopping centre to open in the UK in 2011.

UK retail sales volumes fell 0.2% in August, official figures showed today, as violent urban riots earlier in the month triggered store closures across the country.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said while it was impossible to quantify, there was clear evidence the widespread looting in early August had an impact on retail trade.

The ONS said there was some feedback from retailers that the August 2011 riots, seen across parts of England, resulted in some stores closing early, thereby reducing their opening hours; and some stores being directly affected by the riots.

The economic impact of these closures cannot be measured in relation to the all retailing index, as there was also feedback from some retailers that they saw increases in sales due to changes in shopping behaviour.

The economic impact of these closures cannot be measured in relation to the all retailing index, as there was also feedback from some retailers that they saw increases in sales due to changes in shopping behaviour.

Predominantly food stores volume sales fell by 0.8% in August 2011 compared to August 2010. Sales values increased by 5.0% over the same period. The prices of goods sold within this sector are estimated to have increased by 5.7% since August 2010. The estimated total value of sales within this sector is approximately £10.7bn (non-seasonally adjusted) more than any other retail sales sector.

Sales values in large stores decreased by 1.3% (non-seasonally adjusted) and small stores increased by 2.5% (non-seasonally adjusted). Non-specialised food stores or supermarkets sales volumes decreased by 0.9% (non-seasonally adjusted) with large businesses decreasing by 1.5% (non-seasonally adjusted) and small stores in this sector increasing by 4.9% (non-seasonally adjusted).

Specialist food stores decreased by 1.4% (non-seasonally adjusted), stores selling alcohol and tobacco increased by 6.9% (non-seasonally adjusted), the largest rise in this sector since March 1988 where it also increased by 6.9%.

Predominantly non-food stores volume sales decreased by 1.2% in August 2011 compared to August 2010. This comprised approximately -0.9 percentage points from household goods stores, -0.9 percentage points from other stores, 0.5 percentage points from non-specialised stores and 0.1 percentage points from textile, clothing and footwear stores. Sales values increased by 0.3% over the same period. This comprised approximately 1.3 percentage points from textile, clothing and footwear stores, 0.4 percentage points from non-specialised stores, -0.4 from other stores, and -1.0 percentage points from household goods stores.

The prices of goods sold in this sector are estimated to have increased by 1.5%. The estimated total value of sales within this sector is approximately £10.4bn (non-seasonally adjusted).

Non-specialised stores volume sales increased by 2.5% between August 2011 and August 2010, sales values increased by 2.4%. The prices of goods sold within this sector are estimated to have decreased by 0.1%. The estimated total value of sales within this sector is approximately £1.9bn (non-seasonally adjusted).

Textile, clothing and footwear stores volume sales increased by 0.3% between August 2011 and August 2010, driven by an increase in footwear stores. Sales values increased by 4.6% over the same period, driven by an increase in clothing stores. The prices of goods sold within this sector are estimated to have increased by 4.2%. The largest rise since June 1991. The estimated total value of sales within this sector is approximately £3.1bn (non-seasonally adjusted).

Household goods stores volume sales decreased by 4.1% in August 2011 compared with August 2010, driven by a decrease in volume sales at hardware, paints and glass stores. Sales values decreased by 4.6% over the same period, driven by a decrease in electrical household appliances stores. The prices of goods sold within these stores are estimated to have decreased by 0.3%. The estimated total value of sales is approximately £2.2bn (non-seasonally adjusted).

Other stores volume sales decreased by 2.9% on the year and sales values decreased by 1.4% over the same period, both volume and value decreases were driven by computers and telecomms stores. The prices of goods sold in this sector are estimated to have increased by 1.3% over the same period and the estimated value of sales in this sector is approximately £3.3bn (non-seasonally adjusted).

Non-store retailing volume sales increased by 13.7% in August 2011 compared with August 2010.The value of retail sales in this sector increased by 13.2% over the same period. The prices of goods sold through non-store retailing are estimated to have decreased by 0.5%. The estimated total value of sales is approximately £1.3bn (non-seasonally adjusted).

Retail Sales - August 2011

  • Headline: The value of retail sales in August 2011 increased by 4.7% compared with August 2010.
  • Headline: Sales volumes in August 2011 were unchanged compared with August 2010 but the sector results show a mixed picture.
  • Non-store retailing sales volumes provided the greatest upward pressure to the all retailing figure increasing by 13.7% year-on-year.
  • Predominantly non-food stores sales volumes decreased by 1.2% driven by household goods stores providing the greatest downward pressure.
  • An estimated £25.4bn was spent on retail goods during August 2011, up from £24.3bn in August 2010.

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