Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that sales volumes would rise by 0.3% on the month.
Retail sales volumes in April were 3.0% lower than a year earlier.
The Reuters poll had pointed to a fall of 2.8% in sales volumes on an annual basis.
Britain’s surge in inflation has hit the spending power of households in Britain. Although the pace of price growth slowed to 8.7% in April from 10.1% in March, according to data published earlier this week, the fall was smaller than expected.
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Wednesday that he feared inflation could prove “sticky and stubborn” in the months ahead.