Retail Sales show UK is shopping again

consumer retail image

Recent data shows that UK Retail sales are back up to pre lockdown levels as UK shoppers return to the shops.  However, the picture is different for each area of Retail.

What are the figures?

In July, sales increased by nearly 4%, which followed increases in May and June after falls in April and March.  This is the volume, or amount, of goods sold.


  • Total sales up 3.6%
  • Fuel up by 26.2%
  • Clothing up 11.9%
  • Non Food stores up by 10%
  • Food stores down by -3.1%
  • Online spending down by -7%

UK Retail sales are now back up to pre-lockdown levels as this graph shows;

Retail sales


The amount we shop online also continues to stay high.  Almost a third of our current shopping is now online.  Even though online shopping fell in June, this area is still up by about 50% since the beginning of the Covid Pandemic and Lockdown.

According to the ONS;

“In July 2020, we see continued growth in retail sales volumes, increasing by 3.6% from June and recovering from the sharp falls during lockdown.

Growth in the retail sales industry contributes approximately 5.4% to GDP. As we see unprecedented changes to the economy, the pandemic has also changed the shape of the retail industry. Despite total levels of sales increasing to slightly above pre-pandemic levels, not all retail sectors experienced this bounce back “

Not all retail sectors have recovered

Some areas are still some way behind the previous level of sales before the pandemic.  Examples are; Fuel sales are still down by nearly 12% and Clothing is down about 27%

The High Street has not recovered all of the usual traffic

The number of people shopping in high streets and shopping centres is about 70% of the number from the same period last year.

Want to learn more and see where the numbers came from?

You can read the ONS press release here.

More detail about footfall which measures the number of shoppers in stores is here.

The ONS is the Office for National Statistics and is the official provider of economic data for the UK.  You can find out more about them here.

Learn more about NewsBrokerUK here.


Some percentages are rounded to make the article easier to read.  Full details in the ONS press release.