COVID-19 SERVICE: We are heightening our efforts to assist the UK retail & leisure industry through this challenging period. Explore this service now… COVID-19 SERVICE

ONS Retail Sales November 2022

  • Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel) continued to lag inflation, rising by a subdued 3.1% year-on-year (YoY) in November according to the latest ONS data.
  • In volume terms, retail sales declined by 6.1% YoY in November, against a 0.6% uplift a year ago (non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel), marking the weakest November rate on record (since 1989).
  • This marked the ninth volume decline on an annual basis, with the three-month-on-three-month volume rate seeing a decline of -2.3% in the quarter to November (volume, seasonally adjusted).

Retail sales value and volume growth has 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

  • Food sales values stepped up by 6.9% YoY (versus -0.5% last year), marking the strongest rate since the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. However, after accounting for double-digit inflation, food volumes declined by 5.5% YoY in the month.
  • This nonetheless marked a 4.8% uplift in Food volumes compared to October, as shoppers looked to stock up early and spread the cost of Christmas, as well as celebrate the World Cup.
  • Strong comparisons to last year saw clothing sales remain weak. Sales in the category rose by 4.0% YoY in November, against a 53.2% rise a year earlier. Volumes continued to edge down, falling by 4.4% in the month.
  • Furniture and Lighting sales saw volumes edge up 2.7% YoY in November, following a 6.6% decline in the previous month, with values up 14.3%. Longer Black Friday are likely to have supported sales.
  • However, Household Goods remained in decline, with volumes down by 7.4% in November, and values up just 0.7% YoY.


  • Online sales values declined by 5.1% YoY, compared to a weak 7.4% decline a year earlier.
  • All major online categories recorded a decline in the month. Including Household Goods (-6.5%) and Food (-5.5%). Non-store retailing (a proxy for pureplay retailers) saw sales decline by 4.8% YoY in November.
  • The proportion of retail sales made online was 30.2% in November – down from 32.8% a year earlier, but ahead of a pre-pandemic peak of 21.6% in November 2019.

Retail sales price deflator

  • The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) stepped up by 9.8% YoY in November when excluding fuel, and by 10.5% when including fuel – marking a slight softening on October.
  • The implied price deflator among food stores remained lofty at 13.1% YoY in November, marking a fifth month of double-digit rises. Among non-food stores, the price deflator rose by 7.9% in the month.

Back to Retail Economic News