Healthy eating products was said to have fared particularly well while sales of beer, wine and spirits suffered from the mid-week timing of New Years Eve. However, growth was seen in this area later in the month.
For the retail sector as a whole like-for-like sales increased by 4.1% in January - down from 6% for the same period last year. Total sales increased by 6.8% against last year’s 8.3%.
However, the BRC warned that although robust sales during the month had brought some relief to retail, sales were on the back of discounting in almost all areas of the high street.
Director general of the BRC, Bill Moyes, said: “With so many purchases being postponed until after the Christmas period, these figures cannot be taken as evidence that the recent downward trend will not continue.”