Carpet retailers report largest monthly fall in retail sales as furniture also stutters

Furniture retail sales rose during November compared to last year but were down on the previous month.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the value of furniture and lighting sales resulted at £1.28bn, down 7.2% from £1.38bn in October. It was the sixth straight month sales had been over £1.1bn.

Compared to the November 2019, sales improved slightly by 1.5% from £1.26bn.

Flooring sales reported a sharp decline during November by 39.5% to £138m from £228.1m in October. Compared to November last year, sales were down 9.3% from £152.2m.

Carpet and floor covering retailers reported the largest monthly fall in November.

Overall, the value of sales increased by 1% to £38.5bn year-on-year, while the volume of sales rose by 2.4% – marking a seventh consecutive month of growth.

Online retailing accounted for 31.4% of total retailing compared with 28.6% in October 2020, with an overall growth of 74.7% in the value of sales when compared with November 2019.

Commenting on August’s Retail Sales figures, Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics Jonathan Athow said: “After a run of strong growth, retail sales fell back in November as restrictions meant many stores had to close their doors again. Clothing and fuel were particularly hit by the winter lockdown, with their sales falling sharply. Despite the monthly fall, overall sales remain above their pre-pandemic levels.

“Household goods and food shops were the only areas to see their monthly sales increase, with feedback from stores suggesting consumers brought forward their Christmas spending, particularly on festive home products and DIY. Food sales, especially click and collect, were boosted as people were not able to eat out.”