Footwear retailers were among the strongest performers in October, according to figures released today (28 October), while overall UK retail sales were flat during the month.

The latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was described as "disappointing", after retail sales last month grew at their fastest pace in more than a year.

But robust growth is expected to return next month.

"Although the high street recovery stalled this month, there is optimism that it was just a blip on the previous run of three months' growth," noted Barry Williams, Asda chief merchandising officer for food, and chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel.

"Retailers expect sales to pick up next month and are upping orders with their suppliers.

"It's also encouraging to see that signs are pointing towards increased consumer confidence - backed up by continuing growth in certain areas [such as footwear and leather]."

Retail sales in October stalled after three consecutive months of growth. A balance of 2% of respondents reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago, while 23% expect sales volumes to return to growth in November.

Of the best-performing sectors, 37% of footwear & leather retailers saw a year-on-year rise in sales volumes. But 10% of clothing, textiles and footwear wholesalers saw a decline in sales, making this the first drop in five months.