UK retail sales slumped unexpectedly in January, as snowfall kept consumers at home.
Sales including fuel fell 0.6 per cent month on month from December, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics.
On an annual basis, retail sales slumped 0.6 per cent in January.
The ONS said that the food sector suffered a 2.6 per cent year on year decline in sales, falling to the lowest level since April 2004.
The statistics office said that small stores had fared badly over the month thanks to heavy snowfall, while large stores were buoyed by a rise in online shopping.