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The survey of 120 firms, of which 63 were retailers, showed that the volume of sales fell, despite expectations last month that sales would be largely unchanged. However, sales volumes look set to grow slightly in the year to October.
Overall, sales volumes for the time of year were considered to be above seasonal norms.
The volume of orders placed upon suppliers fell for a sixth consecutive month, disappointing expectations of a rebound in order growth.
Within the retail sector, lower sales at grocers, specialist food & drink and footwear & leather were the main drivers of the drop in overall volumes. Meanwhile, strong growth was recorded in clothing, hardware & DIY.
Growth in internet sales volumes slowed further in the year to September, although growth is set to pick up in October.
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