The figure applies to both the 27-member European Union and the 17-member eurozone, Eurostat said.
From May 2010, sales of food, drinks and tobacco fell by 2.1 percent in the eurozone and by 2.4 percent in the European Union.
Non-food sales also fell in the past 12 months, down 1.3 percent in the euro area and 0.3 percent in the European Union.
Nationally, retail sales dropped furthest in Denmark, where sales fell 3.7 percent on an annual basis. Sales rose farthest in Latvia, rising 2 percent, Eurostat said.