Scottish retail sales improve slightly in September
Retail sales in Scotland saw a slight return to growth in September following a fall in August.
The Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor found that total sales during the month were up 0.8% on September 2010, when they had increased 2.3%. Like-for-like sales were 0.6% lower than a year ago, when they had fallen 0.4%.
David McCorquodale, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, warned that retailers were facing a critical time in the run up to Christmas. Commenting on the figures he said: "With the last big quarterly rent cheque before Christmas having been paid and many Christmas orders placed, the retail sector now faces a critical period.
"Many promotions and sales days will occur between now and Christmas but retail chiefs will also be hoping that consumers manage to throw a little caution aside in the coming weeks and that the weather does not play as key a role as it did last year."
Food sales grew at a similar rate to August while non-food sales saw a small improvement. Sales of homewares also increased slightly but clothing sales were affected by the unseasonably warm weather towards the end of the month.
Ian Shearer, Scottish Retail Consortium director, said: "A slight improvement is better than no improvement but fundamentally the tough times continue for many customers and retailers.
"Generally, people are still confining their spending to basic needs."
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