By Maximilian Clarke

Retail sales volumes in the UK rose 0.9% during October and remain 5.4% higher than October 2010, the Office for National Statistics has confirmed.

October’s stronger growth, compared to September’s 0.6% rise, has been driven by a general increase in consumer demand in the run up to Christmas, coupled with an 11.7% surge in non-store retailing- which includes ecommerce and m-commerce. As domestic incomes remain strained, the surge in ecommerce confirms the increase in households turning to the internet in order to benefit from reductions and deals online.

"Christmas has finally arrived on the high street with both sales volumes and values rising last month," commented Richard Lowe, Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays Corporate.

“There is evidence that footfall is down but transaction value is up so for retailers the next few weeks will be about capturing the consumer as soon as they walk into a store and then cross-selling and up-selling”.

Total monthly retail spend reached £26.8bn- again 5.5% higher than October 2010’s figure, confirming the value of retail sales in the UK has remained largely unchanged.

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