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“No sign of Olympic boost for Scottish retail” Wednesday, 15th August 2012
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Total retail sales in Scotland fell by 0.7 per cent for July, compounded by weak food sales.
The latest results from the Scottish Retail Consortium found total spend on food barely rose as same-store-sales dropped 2.2 per cent from the same time last year.
The figures were the worst set of food sales seen by the SRC since it began surveying the industry in 1999.
"July was not a good month. There's no sign of any pre-Olympic boost for Scottish retail in these figures and cutting back is becoming more widespread.” Richard Lim, economist with the SRC said.
"Even if people bought party food ahead of the Games, they put fewer other things in their trolleys, leaving food spending virtually the same in cash terms as a year ago."
Total non-food sales fell 1.5 per cent, although the SRC noted that a number of lines that had traded badly over the last few years managed to pick up, including floor coverings and fitted kitchens.
Severe discounting aided clothing sales, although the tempestuous weather left little hope for summer footwear sales.
David McCorquodale, head of retail in Scotland for consultants KPMG, said: "The lack of any feel-good factor encouraging consumers into the shops has provided a set of figures much more indicative of the true underlying trend.
"These show weakness in sentiment as disposable incomes remain squeezed, despite the fall in headline inflation. It's a real challenge for retailers to grow sales and many are only achieving this at the expense of margins."