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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Retail Sales Index

June 2020 (Provisional) May 2020 (Final)

Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales Index - All Businesses
 (Base Year 2015 = 100)
     Volume IndexValue Index
June 2019118.2110.1
May 202088.479.7
June 2020122.4110.0
Monthly % change38.438.1
Annual % change3.50.0

Volume of sales increased by 38.4% in June 2020 as more outlets reopened

Figure 1 Retail Sales Index - Seasonally Adjusted Volume
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The volume of retail sales increased by 38.4% in June 2020 when compared to May 2020 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was the largest monthly increase on record, following a monthly increase of 32.5% in May. These increases follow the substantial drop in sales volume in March (-12.4%) and April (-35.8%). On an annual basis, retail volumes were 3.5% higher in June 2020 compared with June 2019. See Table 1.

When Motor Trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales increased by 22.3% in June 2020 over the previous month and increased by 4.8% when compared with June 2019. See Table 2. 

In phase two of reopening on the 8th June, all remaining retail sectors were permitted to reopen their doors to consumers. Among the sectors showing very large monthly volume increases were Furniture & Lighting (+296.8%), Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (+284.2%) and Books, Newspapers and Stationery (+252.0%). No sector showed a monthly decrease in volume of sales in June. See Table 3.

On a quarterly basis, despite the recovery in May and June, the volume of retail sales in Quarter 2 2020 (April-June) was 18.9% lower than in Quarter 1 2020 and 21.8% below Quarter 2 of last year.

Retail sales in June were 3.1% higher than in February 2020 before the crisis started. However, not every sector has fully recovered. Bars (-80.4%), Books, Newspapers and Stationery (-38.6%), Department Stores (-17.3%), Fuel (-16.0%), Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (-15.9%) are still below their February level. The following sectors now have sales greater than they had in February: Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets); Food, Beverages & Tobacco; Hardware, Paint and Glass; Furniture & Lighting and Other Retail Sales.

Compared with June 2019, the volume of retail sales is still lower in Bars (-81.1%), Books, Newspapers and Stationery (-39.6%), Fuel (-18.0%), Department Stores (-16.4%) and Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (-16.2%). The volume of retail sales was higher in June 2020 compared to the same period of last year in other sectors including Hardware, Paint & Glass (+30.1%), Other Retail Sales (+26.9%), Furniture & Lighting (+24.9%), Food, Beverage & Tobacco (+19.4%), Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) (+18.1%) and Electrical Goods (+14.1%).

As the volume of in-person shopping increased with shops reopening, the proportion of total retail sales transacted online fell to 6.8% in June, compared with an online share of 13.2% in May. See Tables 6 and 7.

There was an increase of 38.1% in the value of retail sales in June 2020 when compared with May 2020 while on an annual basis the value of retail sales was the same. If Motor Trades are excluded, there was an increase of 20.9% in the value of retail sales in the month and a decrease of 0.3% in the annual figure.

Unadjusted indices are available on CSO Statbank.