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Improved Scottish sales flat-lined last month

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Total retail sales in Scotland showed no growth or decline year-on-year in June, new data released today reveals.

According to the latest Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) & KPMG retail sales index, like-for-like (LFL) trading however fell by 1.8 per cent with non-food items proving the least attractive to consumers in the country last month.

Food sales dropped 1.4 per cent LFL during the month whilst trading improved during the period but was still down 2.2 per cent compared to 2010.

Richard Dodd, Head of Media at the SRC, said: “When zero sales growth is an improvement you know times are tough. In fact overall sales were not even that good when the effect on spending figures of inflation and higher VAT is factored in.

“Food sales growth slipped slightly on May. The slight revival overall was driven by non-food sales, helped by price cuts and earlier clearance events but sales were again down on a year ago, just not as badly as the previous month.”

May experienced the largest decline in retail trading in over a decade, with LFLs down 3.2 per cent, and although June saw an improvement many factors are still restricting spending north of the border.

Widespread promotions and discounts helped some sectors of the industry but homewares & DIY and furniture & flooring products still struggled in the face of consumer austerity.

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail in Scotland at KPMG, commented: “Uncertainty about jobs and incomes has meant that big-ticket purchases have been put on hold.

“This is just the latest set of unseasonable results for retailers and, as the economy finds its feet, it is difficult to be able to predict exactly when the tide will turn for retailers who continue to struggle to attract shoppers back through the doors.”

Published on Wednesday 20 July by Editorial Assistant

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