Scotland business

Scotland's shops suffer festive fall in sales

Sale sign and shoppers Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The latest survey into retail sales found that shoppers needed a bargain before they would commit to spend

The value of retail sales in Scotland's shops declined by 1.8% in December, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and KPMG.

Food sales fell by 1.9% compared with the same period last year, with non-food down by 1.8%.

When shop price deflation is taken into account, sales fell just 0.2%.

However David McCorquodale of KPMG said there were "some positives amongst the sea of negative sales figures in December".

He said: "Firstly, the 'sale windows' of Black Friday and post-Christmas saw consumers flock for a discount and this helped to raise the three month average for non-food sales (adjusted for online) to show growth of 0.7% - demonstrating the significant role Black Friday played this Christmas.

"Coupled with retail performance throughout the traditional Boxing Day sales, the statistics reflect how consumers today need a bargain before committing to spend."

He added: "The true cost at margin level to the retailer will only surface as the campaigns wind down."


The fall in the value of sales in December came despite a rise in the number of people visiting the shops.

Footfall figures showed an increase of 1.6% in the run up to Christmas - the sixth consecutive month of growth.

At the same time online shopping is continuing to grow. The latest estimate is that internet sales account for 10% of total retail sales in the UK.

If online spending is taken into account, then non-food sales fell by 0.5%.

Clothing and footwear were the best performing categories in this latest survey and are the fastest growing areas over the last twelve months.

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