Scottish retailers enjoy strong start to 2014
Scottish retailers have made a strong start to 2014 with total retail sales increasing by 4.3% year-on-year in January. Like-for-like sales rose by 2.5%.
Figures released by the Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG show that total food sales were 1% up on January 2013 while non-food sales increased by 7% on a year earlier.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "Scottish retailers will take heart from these sales figures, which represent a strong start to the year. They build on a generally positive 2013 and compensate significantly for the slightly poorer sales we reported in December 2013.”
The SRC said particularly strong results were seen in clothing, furniture and other non-food items as consumers took advantage of promotions as well as buying from the new ranges in store. However, food fared less well although over the last three months its performance in Scotland has been slightly above that in the rest of the UK.
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "Retailers in Scotland will have breathed a sigh of relief throughout January as the snow stayed away and consumers had the confidence to spend. While some of the growth in non-food has been achieved in the sales at reduced margins, there will be retailers who feel they've begun to move the dial in recovery terms.”
Looking ahead he said: "Recovery has its ups and downs, and the prospect of a sharp winter blast has not yet gone away, so no retailer will be resting on its laurels. But this is a strong start to 2014 in Scotland and gives encouragement for the months ahead."
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