Clothing and footwear sales bucked general retail trends during January, with sales volumes increasing 1.2% over the month, as overall retail sales volumes declined 0.6%, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The amount spent on clothing and footwear increased by 1.9% year-on-year as the price of goods increased 0.7%. Average weekly retail sales of clothing and footwear were GBP700m (US$1.08bn), with 10.6% of sales made via the internet.

Overall retail sales by value increased by 0.8% over the month.

Commenting on the results, KPMG's UK head of retail, David McCorquodale said: "Whilst the ONS statistics paint a negative picture, my sense is that January was in fact a relatively flat month.

"If you strip out sales of petrol, sales volumes rose marginally by 0.2% and values increased by 1.6%, which was slightly behind inflation. This appears to hint at continued margin pressure in the retail sector with goods being discounted to shift volumes.

"Interestingly, for those retailers selling winter and outer wear, the snow perhaps came fractionally too late. Retailers had already launched their seasonal sales and slashed the prices of winter gear when customer demand for cold weather clothing drove up volumes."