Retail sales in Scotland retracted further in Scotland during October whilst the rest of the UK saw growth, according to the latest data from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).
October’s Scottish Sales Monitor, compiled by the SRC and KPMG, revealed today that like-for-like (LFL) sales fell 1.8 per cent in the country compared to last year.
Overall British sales increased 0.8 per cent on a LFL basis during the month, as revealed by the British Retail Consortium earlier this month.
Fiona Moriarty, Director of the SRC, said: “Scottish shoppers are more cautious than their counterparts south of the border with sales growth slower and footfall weaker than elsewhere in the UK.
“Fears about job cuts and income prospects mean customers are searching for value and deals and thinking twice before making bigger spending commitments.
“What sales growth there is being driven by promotions. Halloween and half-term helped some retailers but failed to make much difference overall.”
Total sales north of the border rose 1.4 per cent during October but much of this increase was due to a 4.1 per cent rise in food sales.
Non-food sales dropped 1.1 per cent in total and decreased 3.8 per cent LFL compared to 2009, as consumers resisted spending on big-ticket and discretionary items.
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail in Scotland for KPMG, commented: “The impact of the spending review and the subsequent uncertainty surrounding the future of Scotland’s public sector, especially its large workforce, continues to have a knock-on effect on discretionary spend and drives shoppers to search for good deals and promotions.
“Consumers are also waiting to hear the outcome of the Scottish Budget, which will provide a more accurate indication of where the cuts and job losses might fall.”