Online retail sales see biggest fall since 2015

Online retail sales volumes in August saw the biggest monthly fall since 2015, leading to an unexpected decline in overall retail sales in the UK.

“Non-store” retailing, predominantly online shopping, fell 3.2 per cent in August according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This dragged down overall retail sales 0.2 per cent, coming below analyst expectations and marking the first swing into negative territory in three months, following 0.4 per cent growth in July.

READ MORE: Retail sales dip in August

It also followed a 7.6 per cent growth in online sales in July thanks to Amazon’s annual Prime Day event.

Online sales as a proportion of all retail sales also fell to 19.7 per cent from 19.9 per cent in July.

On a three-month basis the outlook was more positive, with sales rising 3.3 per cent compared to the year prior.

“Retail sales grew moderately in the three months to August with online sales still providing the biggest driver, despite falling back in the latest month,” ONS head of retail Rhian Murphy said.

“Shoppers spent less on both food and clothing while department stores resumed their downward trend after a brief rally in July.”

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