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Scottish retail sales show slow but steady growth in May

Total Scottish retail sales edged up 0.8% in May compared to the same month last year as consumers showed more of a willingness to spend. Like-for-like sales fell by 0.5%.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Scottish retail sales show slow but steady growth in May

Figures released by the Scottish Retail Consortium show that the May total growth was above the 12-month average of 0.3%, but below that of the UK at 3.4%. 

While total food sales increased by 1.5% in the month, non-food sales rose by 0.2%. Clothing and footwear were the worst performers as the unseasonably cold weather impacted sales. Excluding fashion, non-food items recorded their best result in 20 months outside of Christmas.

The SRC said the figures reflected rising levels of consumer confidence in Scotland.

Fiona Moriarty, SRC director added: "Customers remain price-conscious, but the signs are that they entered May a little more willing to spend, especially on value ranges. Retailers read the shifting public mood well and offered well-timed and targeted promotions to draw in shoppers on the look-out for a good deal. 

"While May ushered in some welcome weather more suited to spring after the unseasonably chilly preceding months, conditions were still volatile. This led to a mixed month for the fashion category: the first signs of sunshine fuelled demand for spring and summer ranges, but changes in temperature made for stop-start progress across the month.

"These are slow but steady figures which will prompt mixed feelings from Scottish retailers. While the gap has widened again with the UK, the result is up on the 12 month average of 0.3%. Retailers will be hoping that this tentative boost gathers momentum as we head into the summer."

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