January may not have seemed to be the best month for UK retail but according to the latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics, it was a better than expected month for the fashion sector.
British consumers failed to increase their spending in December for a record fifth month in a row, adding to signs of a weakening economy that might prompt the Bank of England to cut interest rates this month.
The UK's Office for National Statistics said October sales volumes and value fell by 0.1% month-on-month. But department stores reported growth while year-on-year sales rose 3.1% by volume and 3.3% by value.
British shoppers grew more cautious about their spending in the three months to September despite rising wages, official figures showed on Thursday, raising concerns about the economy in the run-up to Brexit.
The crisis on the UK’s high streets is accelerating with the number of shops that are empty (as well as pubs and restaurants that also help attract shoppers to an area) rising faster than it has for around a decade.