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Biggest ever jump in web, non-store retail sales for June

Tumbleweeds in the high street, roaring trade elsewhere

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The Office for National Statistics said non-store retailing jumped 24.4 per cent in June – the biggest such leap it has ever recorded.

Comparing June 2011 with the same month last year, value of all retail sales went up 4 per cent and the volume of sales went up 0.4 per cent.

Food sales fell 4.2 per cent – the largest fall since the ONS began keeping notes in 1988.

Non-food retailing grew 0.9 per cent and sales were pushed up by fuel prices, which went up 3.1 per cent.

A spokesman for the ONS said non-store retailing included not just websites but also catalogues and market stalls.

He said that anecdotally the jump could be down to people shopping around more, because of economic fears, and that the web made this easier to do. He also suggested a move to more eco-friendly options, and the hike in fuel prices, may have played a role in pushing people online instead of onto the High Street.

Smaller retailers seem to have benefited more than the big firms, he said.

The ONS numbers are here.

About £32.1bn was spent in retail in June 2011, compared to £30.9bn in June 2010. ®

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