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Retail sales in Scotland remain flat

Figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium have revealed that there was no change in the value of retail sales in Scotland in June. Like-for-like sales were 1.8% lower than a year ago, when they had fallen 1.1%. Total sales showed zero growth on June 2010, when they had increased 1.7%.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail sales in Scotland remain flat

On a like-for-like basis, SRC said food sales showed a similar year-on-year decline to May's fall. Non-food sales improved slightly, due to retailers starting clearance sales earlier than usual, but were well down on a year ago. Big-ticket housing-related purchases continued to sell slowly.

As in the UK both like-for-like and total sales fared less badly in June but underlying trends were little changed. Consumer confidence fell much more sharply in Scotland than in the UK as a whole and remained much weaker.

Richard Dodd, Scottish Retail Consortium head of media, 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 BRC found that as in the UK, both like-for- 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.

"Scotland's results were also weaker than for the UK as whole. Consumer confidence is lower and falling faster as cuts concerns catch up with Scottish customers and sunny weather was rare."

David McCorquodale, head of retail in Scotland, KPMG, said: "The figures for June are deeply disappointing and it may be that we are starting to see an indication of a longer-term trend. In May total sales fell by 1.1 per cent, the largest drop since records began, while last month saw flat sales year-on-year which obviously is not good news for retailers."


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