Scottish retail figures on the up after disappointing summer
Figures released by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) found that retail sales improved through Scotland in August after a tough summer.
Total sales grew by 1.3% in August after deflation adjustment, which was up on the three and 12 month averages. Food sales boosted total sales with an increase of 4.1%, compared to a decrease of 0.3% in August 2016.
There was a decline of 1.5% of total non-food sales through August; however this was offset when compared to a decrease of 3.7% in August 2016.
Speaking about the figures, Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs for SRC said that the figures were good news “on the surface,” but warned that the year-on-year food sales was driven in part by food inflation of 1.3%.
“Retailers will welcome these figures after a pretty disappointing summer,” added Russell.
“However, the underlying challenges facing the industry, not least the continued pressure on household incomes and fragile consumer confidence, mean Government should be very careful about any policies which could lead to increases to the cost of living.”
Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, commented: “Grocery sales lead the charge once again, with a 4.1% year on year increase bringing the 12-month average to its highest level for more than three years.
“With August bringing children’s return to school, the Edinburgh Festival and the release of autumn clothing ranges, non-food’s recent poor performance received a late summer boost, with online sales nudging the category into growth.”