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Scottish retail sales growth weakens

The SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor for July shows sales growth weakening

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Scottish retail sales growth weakens

Like-for-like sales in July were 1.4% lower than in July 2009, when they had risen 0.6%. July's fall was the worst since August 2000, apart from April 2010 when the year-on-year comparison was weakened by Easter falling earlier than in 2009.

Similarly, excluding Easter distortions, total sales in July were only 0.8% up on a year ago, the weakest growth since April 1999.

Food sales were slightly down on a year ago. Clothing and footwear weakened further, despite some aggressive discounting in clearance sales. Homewares showed an even larger decline than in June, with big-ticket and discretionary items hardest hit.

Like-for-like sales fell further below their year-earlier level, and remained worse than in the UK, where the weather was less wet than in Scotland.

UK sales were 0.5% higher than in July 2009, when they had risen 1.8%.

Consumer confidence has fallen more in Scotland than in the UK and, with more concern about public sector job cuts, has made shoppers more cautious about spending.

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