Furniture retailers were positive in February as the rest of the retail trade came down to earth with a bump, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Its monthly Retail Sales Monitor — conducted in association with KPMG — said big-ticket furniture lines along with home accents were high performers as other categories including food, clothing and footwear struggled.

David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said: "The home and the heart drove February's sales growth as home improvement and Valentine's Day campaigns brought their rewards.

“Furniture was once again the strongest category, helped by a buoyant housing market and promotional activity by retailers in the sector. Jewellers also saw sales sparkle on a romantic revival.”

The BRC said total retail sales last month were up 1.1 per cent with like-for-like retail sales inching 0.1 per cent ahead of February 2015. Official retail sales for February will be released later in the month.