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ONS Retail Sales February 2022

  • Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel) rose by 10.0% year-on-year (YoY) in February, against a 0.7% decline the previous year according to the latest ONS data.
  • In volume terms, retail sales were up 3.5% in February on the previous year, but slipped -0.3% on the previous month (non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel).
  • The three-month-on-three-month growth rate edged dropped 2.1% in the quarter to February (volume, seasonally adjusted).

Food and non-food

  • Food store sales declined to its weakest rate since May, with sales down by 2.2% in February compared to 6.7% growth a year earlier during the third national lockdown (value, non-seasonally adjusted).
  • Clothing bounced back 108.5% compared to the 51.8% decline last year, bringing the value of sales to levels seen two years ago (value, non-seasonally adjusted, all businesses).
  • Flooring sales maintained soaring momentum with sales five times greater compared to last year when stores faced mandated closures. Floor Covering sales soared 399.5% in February against a 60.4% drop in the previous year (value, non-seasonally adjusted).
  • Furniture and Lighting stores saw sales rise 34.8% in the month, while Household Goods sales rose by a robust 7.9% 30.7% in January, with both categories ahead of pre-pandemic levels.


  • Online sales declines deepened to 16.9% in February, against a strong 89.9% rise a year earlier when stores were mandated to close (non-seasonally adjusted, excluding automotive fuel).
  • Online was dragged by a 31.4% drop in ecommerce sales among Household Goods retailers in the month.
  • This saw the proportion of retail sales made online fall to 27.6% in February – down from 36.5% last year, but remain significantly ahead of pre-pandemic levels (19.1% in February 2020).  

Retail sales price deflator

  • The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) continued to step up amid an inflationary backdrop for retailers, rising by 6.3% YoY in February excluding fuel – a joint record high – and 7.7% when including fuel.
  • The implied price deflator among food stores rose by 5.2% YoY and rose by 6.9% among non-food stores.

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