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ONS Retail Sales July 2023

  • Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel) rose by 4.5% year-on-year (YoY) in July according to the latest ONS data – lagging inflation and last year’s growth rate of 5.3%.
  • In volume terms (non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel), retail sales declines slipped to -3.3% YoY in July, compared to a 3.7% decline a year earlier.
  • The three-month-on-three-month volume rate edged up just 0.1% in the quarter to July (volume, seasonally adjusted).

Retail sales value and volume growth remains detached

Source: ONS, Retail Economics analysis

Note: all retail sales figures provided below are non-seasonally adjusted, excluding Fuel, unless stated otherwise.

Food and non-food

  • Wet weather throughout July reduced clothing and food sales at supermarkets. Food sales values rose by just 5.5% YoY in July (versus a 7.2% rise a year earlier). Adjusting for inflation, volumes declined by 5.5% in the month against a 3.4% decline in the previous year, marking the weakest rate since October.
  • Non-food was impacted by weak footfall in July, with volumes down by 2.9%.
  • Clothing sales eased amid unseasonably wet weather. Clothing sales values rose by 3.1% in July, marking the weakest growth rate since March 2021. After accounting for inflation, volumes declined by 3.7% in July – a third consecutive month of declining volumes.
  • Footwear & Leather Goods continue to outpace at 17.7% YoY growth in July, with volumes up 11.8%.
  • Household Goods fell back into decline, with sales down by 0.7% in July and volumes down by 4.8%. Furniture and Lighting volumes slipped into deeper decline in July, decreasing 5.6% YoY.


  • Online sales values rose by 9.7% YoY in July, against a 6.3% decline a year earlier.
  • Clothing & Footwear saw sales rise 9.9% in July, while Household Goods rose by 4.3%. • Non-store retailing (a proxy for pureplay retailers) surged 14.7 YoY in July, against a 6.1% decline a year earlier.
  • The proportion of retail sales made online rose to 26.1% – up from 24.9% in the previous month and a year earlier.

Retail sales price deflator

  • The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) eased to 8.1% YoY in July when excluding fuel. The rate eased more substantially when including fuel to 4.3%.
  • The implied price deflator among food stores remained in double-digits at 11.7% YoY in July – easing from a peak of 14.6% in April. Among non-food stores, the price deflator rose by 5.7% in the month.

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