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Monthly sales slip back but still ahead of past performance

SofaarmFurniture, lighting and flooring sales dropped in October, but were still significantly ahead of historical levels.

According to the Office of National Statistics first estimate of October’s retail sales, the furniture and lighting sector in England, Wales and Scotland saw sales drop 5.99% compared with September. This compared with a monthly fall of 6.47% in September.

Average weekly sales were £1,293,054,000.

Compared with October 2020, sales were down 6.7% and compared with October 2019 sales were 0.09% lower.

To put the monthly performance into perspective, October was the 22nd best month (of 430) since January 1986. Since January 1986 average weekly sales have averaged £859,678,000.

The flooring sector saw sales fall by 9% compared with September, fall by 9.4% compared with October 2020 and be 20.1% higher than October.

Average weekly sales were £168,636,000.

October was the 242nd best month since January 1986. Since January 1986 average weekly sales have averaged £175,358,000.

For the year to date (January to October), furniture and lighting sales were 14.96% higher than 2020 but 0.46% lower than 2019.

For the year to date (January to October), flooring sales were 14.98% higher than 2020 and 11.4% higher than 2019. 

The latest figures are subject to revision by ONS.