Retail sales, Great Britain: June 2022

A first estimate of retail sales in volume and value terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted.

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This is an accredited National Statistic. Click for information about types of official statistics.

Cyswllt:
Email Rhys Lewis

Dyddiad y datganiad:
22 July 2022

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
19 August 2022

1. Main points

  • Retail sales volumes fell by 0.1% in June 2022 following a fall of 0.8% in May 2022 (revised from a fall of 0.5%); sales volumes were 2.2% above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) February 2020 levels, but down over the past year.

  • Non-store retailing (predominantly online retailers) sales volumes fell by 3.7% in June 2022; sales volumes were 20.8% above their February 2020 levels.

  • Automotive fuel sales volumes fell by 4.3% in June 2022 with retailers suggesting the fall was linked to record-high petrol and diesel prices impacting the amount of fuel people were buying.

  • Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 0.7% over the month because of falls in clothing stores (negative 4.7%) and household goods stores (negative 3.7%), such as furniture stores.

  • Food sales volumes rose by 3.1% with retailers confirming that increased sales were because of Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

  • The proportion of retail sales online fell to 25.3% in June, its lowest proportion since March 2020 (22.8%), continuing a broad downward trend since its peak in February 2021 (37.4%).

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2. Retail sales in June

Table 1 provides a snapshot of the retail sales industry in June 2022 with both value and volume growth rates.

Retail sales volumes fell by 0.1% in June 2022, following a fall of 0.8% in May 2022 (revised from a fall of 0.5%). Retail sales values, unadjusted for price changes, rose by 1.3% in June 2022, following a rise of 0.6% in May.

When compared with the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) level in February 2020, total retail sales were 2.2% and 14.4% higher in volume and value terms, respectively.

Compared with the same period a year earlier, retail sales volumes fell by 5.5% in the three months to June 2022, while sales values rose by 4.4% - reflecting an annual implied deflator (or implied growth in prices) of 9.9%. Percentage change over the past year should be interpreted with caution, given the impact of coronavirus restrictions and base effects on growth rates.

The reporting period for this bulletin covers 29 May to 2 July 2022 and includes the Queen's Jubilee bank holiday, which fell on 3 June. The timing of one-off bank holidays might lead to more volatility in the monthly path of retail sales in May and June 2022.

Figure 1 shows the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in retail sales over time. Sales volumes fell by 0.1% in June 2022, continuing a broad downward trend since summer 2021 following the lifting of hospitality restrictions.

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Month-on-month contribution to growth by sector

Figure 2 shows the contributions to the 0.1% month-on-month fall in overall retail sales volumes (quantity bought) in June 2022. This highlights that the increase in food stores sales volume, largely because of Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, was offset by falls in the other sub-sectors.

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3. Retail sales, selected sectors

Food stores

Food store sales volumes rose by 3.1% in June 2022 and were 0.3% above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) February 2020 levels. Feedback from retailers suggested that the increase in food sales was largely the result of Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

Supermarkets’ sales volumes rose 3.1% over the month, alongside an increase in specialist food stores (such as butchers and bakers) of 0.8%, and alcohol and tobacco stores, which rose by 3.5%. Despite the pickup in June, food sales volumes have followed a downward trend since summer 2021 following the lifting of restrictions on hospitality.

In recent months prior to June 2022, retailers have highlighted that they are seeing a decline in volumes sold because of increased food prices and cost of living impacts.

Automotive fuel

Automotive fuel sales volumes fell by 4.3% in June 2022, down from 0.8% in May 2022. Sales volumes were 7.6% below their pre-coronavirus February 2020 levels.

Retailers commented that high petrol and diesel prices were reducing fuel sales volumes. Record-high petrol and diesel prices are reported in our Consumer price inflation June 2022 release as average petrol prices rose by 18.1 pence per litre in June 2022, the largest monthly rise on record (since 1990). Diesel prices moved similarly with a rise of 12.7 pence per litre.

Non-food stores

Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 0.7% over the month, although remain 1.4% above their pre-coronavirus February 2020 levels. Some retailers suggested that the rail strikes at the end of June may have impacted sales.

Clothing stores sales volumes fell by 4.7% in June 2022, down from an increase of 2.2% in May 2022. Household goods stores (such as furniture stores) sales volumes fell by 3.7% in June 2022 because of falls in each of their sub-industries. Feedback from retailers suggests that consumers are cutting back on spending because of increased prices and affordability concerns.

Department store sales volumes fell by 0.6% and were 5.3% below their February 2020 levels. The sub-sector of other non-food stores reported a monthly increase in sales volumes of 4.3% in June 2022 because of strong growth in second-hand goods stores (particularly antiques stores and auctioning houses).

Non-store retailing

Non-store retailing sales volumes fell by 3.7% in June 2022, down from a fall of 0.3% in May 2022. Despite this fall, sales volumes were 20.8% above their February 2020 pre-coronavirus levels.

Non-store retailing refers to retailers that do not have a store presence. While the majority is made up of online retailers, it also includes other retailers such as stalls and markets.

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4. Online retail

Table 2 shows the month-on-month and month-on-year (annual) growth rates for the amount spent online by value, and the proportion of total retail sales value that was made online by sector. The percentage weights indicate where money is spent online. For example, 7.6 pence in every pound spent online was spent in department stores in 2021.

Online spending values fell in June 2022 by 2.7% when compared with May 2022. This is because of falls across all sub-sectors except department stores.

The proportion of online sales fell to 25.3% in June 2022, from 26.4% in May 2022. This is a continuation of a broad falling trend since its peak in February 2021 (37.4%). Despite the fall in June, the proportion of online sales remains substantially above its level of 19.7% in February 2020 before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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5. Retail sales data

Retail Sales Index
Dataset | Released 22 July 2022
A series of retail sales data for Great Britain in value and volume terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted.

Retail sales pounds data
Dataset | Released 22 July 2022
Total sales and average weekly spending estimates for each retail sector in Great Britain, in the thousands (British pounds).

Retail Sales Index internet sales
Dataset | Released 22 July 2022
Internet sales in Great Britain by store type, month and year.

Retail Sales Index categories and their percentage weights
Dataset | Released 25 May 2022
Retail sales categories and descriptions and their percentage of all retailing in Great Britain.

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6. Glossary

Value (amount spent)

The value estimates reflect the total turnover that businesses have collected over a standard period.

Volume (quantity bought)

The volume estimates are calculated by taking the value estimates and adjusting to remove the impact of price changes.

Seasonally adjusted

Seasonally adjusted estimates are derived by estimating and removing calendar effects (for example, Easter moving between June and June) and seasonal effects (for example, increased spending in June because of Christmas) from the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) estimates.

Non-seasonally adjusted

Non-seasonally adjusted estimates refer to raw data where the effects of regular or seasonal patterns have not been removed.

Non-store retailing

Non-store retailing refers to retailers that do not have a store presence. While the majority is made up of online retailers, it also includes other retailers such as stalls and markets.

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7. Measuring the data

Quality

More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Retail Sales Quality and Methodology Information (QMI).

Revisions

Revisions in this release are a result of:

  • revisions to seasonal-adjustment factors, which have been reviewed and re-estimated

  • late responses to survey returns replacing imputations, or revisions to original returns

Revisions are allowed to occur naturally each month, along the full length of each data time series following direct seasonal adjustment of the component time series

For further information on the revisions profile, please see the retail sales revisions triangles published on a one-month and three-month growth basis.

Seasonal adjustment

Seasonal-adjustment parameters for our volume and value data, for all businesses and internet-data time series, up to June 2022 have been reviewed.

As part of our usual seasonal adjustment practice, prior adjustments are made for calendar effects (where statistically significant) such as returns that do not comply with the standard trading period, regular bank holidays, Easter and the day of the week Christmas occur. Adjustments for repeating and predictable effects are estimated and removed from the final seasonally adjusted series, for example, a permanent change in the seasonal pattern. Adjustments for effects that  do not repeat are estimated and removed during the seasonal adjustment process but are then put back in to the final seasonally adjusted series, for example, the effect of extreme weather or one-off quantifiable events.

The Queen's Jubilee bank holiday event is not regular, so there is not  an explicit adjustment to account for it as part of the seasonal adjustment process. So with our retail sales estimates, there is likely to be some impact in May and June because of the movement of the bank holiday, which as an ad hoc effect does not get removed from our seasonally adjusted estimates.

Compliance check on retail sales statistics

On 11 February 2022, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) published a letter of their findings that confirmed the continued designation of retail sales statistics as National Statistics. In its findings the OSR recommended that we publish a further update on our ongoing developments, future priorities for retail sales statistics and our plans for user engagement. An update on retail sales developments was published on 29 June 2022.

 

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8. Strengths and limitations

Uses and users

The Retail Sales Index (RSI) is an important economic indicator and one of the earliest short-term measures of economic activity. It is used in the compilation of the national accounts and widely used by private and public sector institutions, particularly by the Bank of England and HM Treasury, to assist in informed decision and policy-making.

Comparability with international data

The most recent international estimate of retail sales available for June 2022 was published by the United States Census Bureau on 15 July 2022. In their Advanced monthly sales for retail and food services, June 2022 (PDF, 371KB), they included the amount spent in the United States retail industry, including motor vehicles and parts, and food services.

Data for Northern Ireland are published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Their release for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022 was published on 16 June 2022.

It should be noted that accurate comparisons cannot be made against these or other international statistics for a variety of reasons, including differences in methodology.

Eurostat also published their latest estimates of the volume of retail trade (PDF, 519KB) across the EU on 6 July 2022 for May 2022. This shows the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade in both the euro area (EA19) and EU27 when compared with April 2022.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Rhys Lewis
retail.sales.enquiries@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 1633 455602