UK retail sales fell in January

The quantity of goods bought in the retail sector in January 2013 fell by 0.6 per cent on the previous year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Though the amount spent was unchanged from January 2012, the volume of goods sold fell unexpectedly compared with the previous month and January 2012. The biggest fall came in the food sector, where the quantity of food bought was down by 2.6 per cent year-on-year.

Small stores, especially those with fewer than 10 employees, were particularly affected by the fall in sales, with January's heavy snow fall certainly not helping.

However, many large retailers reported increases in retail sales by volume - due in part to the rising popularity of online shopping.