Retail sales across Scotland were down in July, even as the rest of the UK recorded growth, according to new estimates by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).
The SRC retail sales monitor, produced in association with KPMG, said sales in Scotland were down 1.8%, compared to a 1.9% increase across the UK, a development it attributed to lower prices and poor weather. Some of the worst affected categories were clothing and footwear, although sales of TVs (partly due to the Rio Games) and mobile phones were up.
David Lonsdale, Director of SRC, noted: “Total retail sales in Scotland – once adjusted for falling shop prices – eased down last month which was unfortunate after two successive months of growth. Grocery sales slipped following three consecutive months of improvement, and non-food sales faltered as a result of declines in clothing and footwear despite heavy end of season discounting.”
David McCorquodale, KPMG head of retail, added: “It’s far too early to call the Scottish sales figures for July a barometer of the Brexit vote impact. The consequences, good or bad, will take some time to be negotiated and even longer to be felt in the consumer’s purse. Rather, the weather was, as ever, the driver across the board and deflation was the co-driver in the food segment.”