THE value of UK retail sales in January was up 1.4 per cent on the same month of last year, an industry survey shows.

The British Retail Consortium survey highlights the weakness of non-food sales, the more discretionary element of spending.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “The figures paint the same old picture of divided fortunes for food and non-food sales. Rising food prices continued to inflate sales growth and absorb the lion’s share of shoppers’ squeezed budgets, while sales of non-food items struggled in January.”