Scotland business

Scottish retailers 'glad to see back of January'

shopping trolley Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption January was a good month for grocery sales in Scotland, according to the report

The new year brought little cheer for Scotland's retailers as overall sales dipped, according to industry analysis.

Grocery sales increased year-on-year by 4.2% in January, but there was a 3.6% decline in the non-food category.

Overall sales were down by 0.1%, compared with the same period last year, according to the latest Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC)-KPMG sales monitor.

Sector analysts said retailers were "glad to see the back of January".

'Challenging month'

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, SRC's head of policy, said: "January is always a challenging month for retailers after the vital Christmas period, and 2018 was no different.

"As with previous months, the rise in food sales is the driving force behind this growth, with the 4.2% rise bringing the 12-month average to the highest point in over six years.

"That rise is still being lifted by food price inflation, but traditional Scottish products did well, including strong haggis sales as customers toasted the Bard of Ayrshire."

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland at KPMG, said consumers continued to be careful with their spending "at a time of uncertainty".

He added: "Retailers will be glad to see the back of January.

"Although it wasn't as bleak as some predicted, overall sales still declined by 0.1%.

"Sales will have been impacted by both the tightening of purse strings post-Christmas, as well as a flurry of snowstorms dissuading shoppers from visiting the high street."

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