Scottish total retail sales drop for first time in a decade
The data showed that like-for-like food sales fell well below their year-earlier level and non-food sales showed a much steeper fall. Consumers' underlying uncertainty about jobs and incomes, as well as the later Easter, hit both. Sales were often deal-driven. Larger purchases of homewares and furniture purchases were hardest hit.
Fiona Moriarty, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said:
"The fact that the Easter spending boost falls in April this year but was mostly in March in 2010 is a contributory factor, but the drop can't be accounted for by that alone.
"Reality is biting for Scottish shoppers. People are increasingly nervous about the economy and their personal finances and are reluctant to spend unless they have to. Food sales have slowed markedly while non-food sales have seen a much steeper fall."
She added: "Consumers in Scotland don't have the confidence to spend on large items for the home or buy into new fashion lines. Where they are spending, the focus is on bargains and price cuts. The current spell of warm weather and the approach of Easter offer some hope but it will take more than sunny bank holiday weekends to fundamentally change the gloomy retail outlook."
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