Retail sales fall in May as shoppers dine out

LONDON (BBC): Retail sales fell by 1.2% between April and May as people chose to visit reopened bars and restaurants instead of buying food at supermarkets.

The Office for National Statistics said sales fell most significantly at food stores as consumers took advantage of Covid restrictions being lifted in the hospitality sector to eat out.

In contrast, sales at non-food shops rose on demand for outdoor furniture.

The proportion of online sales dipped as people returned to physical shops.

It is the third month in a row that the proportion of online sales has fallen, but the ONS said they “remain nearly 60% higher than the level seen in February 2020” before the pandemic.