Meanwhile, Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, has stated that it is seeing early signs of shoppers changing their habits as a result of high inflation, such as buying less food and visiting more frequently.
The ONS said its feedback from supermarkets also suggested customers were spending less on their food shop because of the rising cost of living.
It discovered that sales in supermarkets fell 1.5 percent in May, while sales in specialty stores such as butchers and bakers fell 2.2 percent.
“Many customers are buying down, particularly in food, choosing value-range items where they might have previously purchased premium goods,” said Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium.
The ONS reported that retail sales fell by 0.5 percent in May, and that sales growth in April was revised down to 0.4 percent from 1.4 percent previously.
Overall, prices are rising at the fastest rate in 40 years, with UK inflation at 9.1 percent, the highest level since March 1982.