Scotland business

Scottish retailers report further dip in sales

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Scottish retail sales slipped again in July, with the total down 1.8%. Sales across the UK as a whole grew by 1.9%.

The survey by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) suggested falling prices and poor weather were to blame.

Retailers have said it is too early to tell if the vote by the UK to leave the European Union has had an effect.

The SRC retail sales monitor, produced in association with KPMG, has recorded a decline in sales at Scottish outlets for over two years.

Clothing and footwear were reported to be particularly poor sellers.

In contrast, sales of televisions and mobile phones strengthened.

SRC director David Lonsdale said: "Total retail sales in Scotland - once adjusted for falling shop prices - eased down last month which was unfortunate after two successive months of growth.

"Grocery sales slipped following three consecutive months of improvement, and non-food sales faltered as a result of declines in clothing and footwear despite heavy end of season discounting."

He added: "It is possible that more prolonged post-Brexit blues in Scotland may perhaps have affected consumer confidence and been a contributing factor to the dip in retail sales, however in reality thus far little has materially changed for most households in the wake of the referendum."

KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale commented: "It's far too early to call the Scottish sales figures for July a barometer of the Brexit vote impact. The consequences, good or bad, will take some time to be negotiated and even longer to be felt in the consumer's purse.

"Rather, the weather was, as ever, the driver across the board and deflation was the co-driver in the food segment."

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