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Scottish retail sales slow in September

Scottish retail sales were more subdued in September after a stronger summer as like-for-like sales fell 0.8% on the same month last year.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Scottish retail sales slow in September

Scottish retail sales were more subdued in September after a stronger summer as like-for-like sales fell 0.8% on the same month last year.

The figures released by the Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG show that total sales grew by 1.8% with total food sales up 2.3% on September 2012. Total non-food sales increased by 1.4%.

While tablets, games and gadgets performed well, clothing sales were less buoyant as shoppers put off updating their autumn wardrobes due to the month’s warmer weather.

Fiona Moriarty SRC director said: "After a strong summer, these more subdued figures serve as a reminder that, while recent months have seen some shafts of light, the path to economic recovery remains fragile. While Scottish consumer confidence remained fairly stable in September, many of us are still cautious, and may be holding back on spending until Christmas gets closer.

"This is certainly a slowdown after an impressive run during the summer months, and highlights that conditions remain challenging. However, retailers are continuing to respond well to their customers' needs, and will be hoping that this slight dip is reversed as we move into the crucial pre-Christmas trading period."

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "Despite a setback, the forward momentum has been maintained in September and now the focus will be on the build up to Christmas, with retailers determined to hold on to their margins as keenly as possible, while the ever-informed consumer holds out for a bargain. I look forward, with more confidence than trepidation, to a better Christmas on the High Street." 

Although September sales slowed compared to recent months, the SRC said the three-month average, at 3.1%, remained well ahead of the 12-month average at 1.2%. 

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