UK retail sales were down 1.0% on a like-for-like basis from February 2013, when they had increased 2.7% on the preceding year according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.
On a total basis, sales were up 0.7%, against a 4.4% increase in February 2013.
The 3-month average total growth was 2.8%, in line with the 12-month trend, now at 2.7%.
Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "Our sales figures for February show a slower pace of growth in the retail industry than in previous months, underlining that the consumer-led recovery is still developing."
"However, this slower growth might have been expected in some ways, given the record sales figures we saw in January and the strong results that we are comparing against from last year. If they were taken together, the figures from the last three months show a 2.8 per cent average growth in the retail industry, a modest increase on the 12 month average", Dickinson continued.
"Overall, these figures reflect the considerable challenges still faced by consumers and retailers in the UK. It remains to be seen how the industry will fare over 2014."