Retail sales volumes in the UK are estimated to have increased by 0.5% in January 2023, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).\r\n\r\nPrice rises and the cost of living crisis had seen retail sales drop 1.2% in December 2022 but post-Christmas discounts and increased fuel sales owing to a fall in prices caused a slight increase overall.\r\n\r\nNon-store retailing, predominantly online shopping, sales volumes rose by 2%, in large part due to the aforementioned January discounts. Alongside this, non-food stores sales volumes rose by 0.6%.\r\n\r\nSales volumes fell by 0.9% in the three months to January 2023 when compared with the previous three months. Compared with the same period a year earlier, retail sales volumes fell by 5.7%.\r\n\r\nFood store sales volumes fell by 0.5% in January 2023 following a fall of 0.7% in December 2022. ONS put this continued decline down to the cost of living.\r\n\r\nDarren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics said: \u201cAfter December\u2019s steep fall, retail sales picked up slightly in January, although the general trend remains one of decline.\u201d\r\n\r\nJacqui Baker, partner and head of retail at RSM UK, added: \u201cJanuary is typically already a painful month, and whilst it wasn\u2019t quite the hammer blow that many feared, the figures will barely cheer up retailers after a difficult Christmas trading period. While food sales volumes fell 0.5%, non-food retailing and household goods increased 2.0% and 0.8% respectively.\r\n\r\n\u201cConsumers have little choice but to be more selective with their spending. While consumers flocked to book holidays on \u2018Sunshine Saturday\u2019\u2013 the travel industry\u2019s busiest day for bookings in January \u2013 this was at the expense of spend on clothing. With the rising cost-of-living set to continue and government support towards energy bills ending in April, it\u2019s likely consumers will retrench even further as households\u2019 disposal income continues to fall."