Overall retail sales increased 2.8% in September, compared to the year before, and non-food, non-store sales increased by 11.9%, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
"For some customers confidence is trickling back," says Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC. "These are the best total sales growth figures since January 2008. But we mustn't get carried away. They are compared with a weak performance last September."
"Online and mail-order sales of non-food goods grew more rapidly than last month thanks to a minor revival in some customers' mood but September's growth was still the third weakest of the year," added Sharon Hardiman, the BRC's head of non-store retailing
"How far this builds, and boosts sales further, in the critical pre-Christmas months may depend on the planned postal strikes," she added. "Online's slice of overall Christmas spending hinges heavily on customers being sure retailers can get the goods to them. Online shopping is a big source of growth for Royal Mail. We all need common sense to prevail quickly."