UK retail sales values fell 2.2% on a like-for-like basis during October, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said today (12 November).

This compares with the same month last year when like-for-like sales rose  1.0%.

Total sales were lower than a year ago for the first time since April 2005.

As in previous months, food and drink was the only sector to show sales significantly up on a year ago.

Clothing and footwear remained "poor and often discount-driven, despite colder and much wetter weather than last October", the BRC added.

It said that discounts and promotions continued but often "failed to tempt customers unless they perceived value or the purchases filled a need".

Non-food non-store sales in October were 16.6% higher than year ago, but online sales fell on the days after the banking crisis hit, as consumers were anxious about their financial outlook.