The ONS figures for July to September show sales volumes for all retailers up just 0.1% compared with the previous three months.
Although sales volumes for the period were 2.3% higher than the same period in 2007, this was the lowest growth recorded since April 2006.
Sales for food stores fell 0.1%, the largest decrease since records began in 1986.
Taking August and September combined, the picture was even bleaker, with total sales volumes down 0.4%.
Today’s statistics come on the same day that official figures are due to show that the UK’s GDP has fallen for the first quarter since 1992, putting the country on the brink of recession.