Total Scottish sales this July increased by 4 per cent compared with the same time last year, when they had declined by 0.7 per cent.
Food sales in Scotland posted a 5.6 per cent rise on July 2012, when they had increased by just 0.1 per cent – their best result since April 2011.
Fiona Moriarty, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “A double whammy of feel-good factors pushed Scottish sales growth into record-breaking territory in July. Sunshine and sporting successes boosted the public mood and willingness to spend further after a promising pick-up in June.
“Summer food, seasonal fashions and outdoor living products were stand-out performers in what was an impressive month, while non-food leapt up to its best result since December 2009.
“It‘s too early to tell whether what we‘re seeing is a welcome but short-lived uplift or the beginnings of longer-lasting economic recovery. But this run of good growth means things are certainly looking up for the time being.”
The three-month average has continued to accelerate to 2.5 per cent versus a 12-month average of 0.8 per cent and like-for-like sales increased by 1.4 per cent on last July, when they had decreased by 2.2 per cent. Fashion retailers were among the big winners and cleared their summer collections as they prepared to launch Autumn collections.
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said that Andy Murray‘s Wimbledon victory undoubtedly began celebration parties driving food and drink sales early in the month.
He added: “Those with most to smile about were the fashion retailers who, following an extended cold spring, finally got reward from consumers who had confidence in the weather to buy summer clothing.”
In contrast, to the demand for barbecue and picnic fare, it was a disappointing month for furniture and other homeware as people stayed outside, took advantage of good sales deals on offer and enjoyed the sunshine.