The furniture and floor coverings sector was worst hit by the slow rates of growth in the high street last month.
The gloomy outlook for February from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) saw the largest decline in the sales for over two years.
The rising cost of essential items and Christmas credit card bills caused customers to reduce their spending on discretionary items such as fitted kitchens and bathrooms.
The drop in sales comes after a month of heavy discounts in January which saw a temporary rise in consumer demand.
The BRC's monthly monitor said: 'Shoppers are still very price conscious, and so discounting is needed to tempt customers to buy'.
The figures revealed a 1.5% growth across all sectors in February down from 4% during the same period last year. This was fuelled mainly by a strong start to the year in food and drink sales partly accounted for by Mothering Sunday.
But the stagnancy in retail is expected to continue as Easter approaches according to BRC.
The BRC said: 'The economy is not likely to improve because the costs of living is continuing to increase. A drop in the interest rate next month would reduce consumers' mortgage repayments and free up their spending on the high street.'
Source from: Cabinet Maker