Scotland business

Scottish annual retail sales fall by 1.4%

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Image caption Figures show that the clothing and footwear sector was one that showed a sales upturn

Scotland's shops have recorded another fall in the value of sales, according to industry figures.

The latest Scottish Retail Consortium/KPMG sales monitor found retail sales in Scotland fell year-on-year by 1.4%, in February.

However, it was the best performance by retailers since November.

Food sales fell by 2.6%, as falling prices brought about by steep competition continued to have a negative effect.

Non-food sales performed more strongly, registering a drop of 0.5%.

Clothing and footwear topped the growth rankings table and was the only category to report growth in February.

'Sluggish start'

Some retailers were helped by new spring ranges coinciding with milder weather at the start of the month.

Valentine's Day also drove strong sales of beauty products, jewellery and food-related gifts.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "Deflation continues to dampen Scottish sales performance as the sluggish start to the year continued.

"Food retailers suffered most with total sales decline falling back to levels not seen since October last year, reflecting a setback on the long hard road to recovery in this sector.

"Consumers are the beneficiaries of a deflation environment and are well informed of alternative ways to deploy their savings.

"Scottish retailers will have to look beyond simply discounting in order to drive spring promotions and engage profitably with customers in the lead-up to Easter."

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