The value of retail sales in May increased by 2.4 per cent year-on-year (excluding fuel), according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Figures released this morning show year-on-year sales values were boosted by non-store retailing, although sales volumes remained flat.

The spike in sales brought about by April's royal wedding, bank holidays and good weather was clearly highlighted by the month-on-month comparisons.  Along with a 1.8 per cent drop in the value of retail sales from April 2011, sales volumes fell by 1.6 per cent.

Prices of goods rose by 3.8 per cent year-on-year in May, and this also helped push down food store sales by 3.5 per cent compared to April this year.

Speaking to the BBC, ONS spokesman Joe Grice said the fall in food spending was "a pretty direct result of the royal wedding and the April special effects".

Internet sales accounted for 9.4 per cent of all retail sales in May, up from 8.5 per cent in April 2010. Meanwhile, retailers on the high street are adopting various methods to entice customers, including using A boards to advertise discounts and bringing forward their summer sales.