Retail sales inched by 0.3 per cent in November from the previous month as cold weather drove consumers to buy warmer clothing, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS.)
Sales were driven by a £800m monthly spending surge in clothing, shoes and textiles as retail sales grew 2 per cent year-on-year.
There was slow growth in food stores and petrol stations which offset rises in non-food stores and non-food retailing.
Sales in department stores and petrol stations fell 0.3 per cent in November 2013 compared to October 2012.
The Retail Sales Index (RSI), which asks 5,000 businesses across England, Wales and Scotland to provide retail sales turnover each month, found small stores growth rose 4.5 per cent compared to 2.9 per cent in large stores.
Electrical appliance stores continued to struggle and saw an 18.1 per cent year-on-year decrease.
Richard Lowe, Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays, said: “Retailers are hoping for the proverbial late Christmas with consumers expected to make a last-minute dash for the shops this weekend. What discounting there is on the high street has been largely planned by retailers so consumers will be able to bag some late bargains while stocking up on food and drink to see them through the festive period”.
Internet sales rose 15.1 per cent year-on-year and now represents a record 11.9 per cent of all retail spend (exc fuel.)
Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte said the industry will be hoping for an even stronger performance in December, boosted by key dates in the shopping calendar including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the traditional Boxing Day sales.
He added: “However, while the volume of sales is expected to remain high, many of these will be driven by promotions and discounts which will impact profit margins.”