Blog: Official UK figures reveal snow's impact on food sales
Dean Best | 21 January 2011
UK retailers last week gave an indication of how the cold weather last month had hit food sales in the run-up to Christmas - Marks and Spencer boss Marc Bolland said the snow had reduced the retailer's grocery sales by GBP10-15m.
Today (21 December), however, came official evidence of the impact of the big freeze on the sector.
Data from the Office for National Statistics claimed that food stores saw their sales fall 3.4% - the lowest since the figures were first released in 1988.
Kate Davies, statistician for the ONS's retail sales inquiry, said: "This is the 11th consecutive fall in food store sales and the lowest on record. One factor to blame was that December 2010 was the coldest December in 100 years. Another factor was a five per cent rise in prices of goods sold at food stores. In comparison the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI), announced two days ago, rose by 3.7%."
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