Scotland business

Scottish shop sales down despite weather boost

shoppers Image copyright Thinkstock

Warmer weather gave retailers a lift last month but Scotland's high streets are still struggling to show sustained growth, according to a report.

Figures showed fashion, outdoor living and health and beauty sales all improved in May.

Grocery retailers also enjoyed a better month, according to the latest Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) - KPMG retail sales monitor.

However, in-store sales declined overall.

Total Scottish sales fell by 0.3% last month compared with a year ago. However, May's performance was the best since December.

Overall food sales were down 0.7% over the year, while non-food sales held virtually steady with a drop of 0.1%.

But when adjusted for the effect of online sales, total non-food sales were found to have increased by 2.6% - the best performance since August 2014.

Clothing retailers reported increasing demand for dresses, swimwear and summer accessories. Canvas shoes and sandals performed well, as did children's footwear.

Skincare and slimming products helped to drive growth in the health and beauty category.

'Welcome improvement'

SRC director David Lonsdale said: "These figures are a welcome improvement on April's rather poor results, however despite one month's positive data the retail market in Scotland continues to struggle to show sustained growth."

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "Rays of sunshine boosted Scottish sales in May, lifting 12-month averages across the board and providing some long-sought relief for retailers.

"Despite the relatively improved performance, total in-store sales in Scotland still declined, providing evidence that the sector, as a whole, still has its challenges."

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