Back to Top

 Skip navigation

CSO statistical release, , 11am

Retail Sales Index

September 2020 (Provisional) August 2020 (Final)

Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales Index - All Businesses
 (Base Year 2015 = 100)
     Volume IndexValue Index
September 2019119.9112.0
August 2020129.6118.0
September 2020131.5120.0
Monthly % change1.51.7
Annual % change9.77.2

Volume of Retail Sales increased by 1.5% in September 2020

Figure 1 Retail Sales Index - Seasonally Adjusted Volume
go to full release

The volume of retail sales increased by 1.5% in September 2020 when compared to August 2020 on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an annual basis, retail volumes were 9.7% higher in September 2020 compared with September 2019. See Table 1.

When Motor Trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales increased by 1.0% in September 2020 over the previous month and increased by 7.4% when compared with September 2019. See Table 2. 

The largest monthly volume increases were in Motor Trades (+5.7%), Hardware, Paints & Glass (+4.2%), Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (+3.1%). The monthly volume of sales fell in Bars (-16.0%) and Furniture & Lighting (-1.6%).

Compared with September 2019, the volume of retail sales is still lower in Bars (-49.3%), Books, Newspapers and Stationery (-11.6%), Fuel (-10.2%) and Department Stores (-0.6%). The volume of retail sales was higher in September 2020 compared to the same period of last year in Hardware, Paint & Glass (+31.3%), Electrical Goods (+29.6%), Other Retail Sales (+23.9%), Motor Trades (+17.6%), Furniture & Lighting (+17.0%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (+12.4%), Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) (+8.9%), Pharmaceuticals, Medical and Cosmetic Articles (+6.0%) and Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (+3.9%). See Table 3.

As the volume of in-person shopping increased with shops reopening, the proportion of total retail sales transacted online has fallen from the high of 15.3% recorded in April to 4.3% in September. See Tables 6 and 7.

The value of retail sales was 1.7% higher in September 2020 than in August. The annual change in the value of retail sales was an increase of 7.2%. Excluding Motor Trades, the value of retail sales increased by 0.4% in the month and grew by 2.2% on an annual basis.

Unadjusted indices are available on CSO Statbank.