Scotland business

Scottish retail sales recover after poor December

Shopping trolley in supermarket Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Food sales were up by nearly 5% on the same period last year, according to the new data

Scottish retail sales recovered last month following a poor December, according to new figures.

The Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG found sales grew year-on-year by 2.2% between 30 December and 26 January.

It was the highest rise since last June, when there was an increase of 2.7% on the back of warm weather.

The largest increase last month was seen in food sales, which climbed by 4.9%, with new year and Burns night celebrations cited as key factors.

There was a more modest year-on-year increase in non-food sales, with a rise of 0.2%.

Non-food sales had fallen the previous month by as much as 2.8%.

Experts said January had brought "a glimmer of hope" following a "dreary" December.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The data suggested homeware and furniture sold well last month as consumers looked to "freshen up their homes"

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale, said: "These figures are slightly distorted by the inclusion of Hogmanay during the reporting period, so it's too early to say with confidence that retail sales have turned the corner."

The findings indicated that grocery sales did well, with new year and Burns night celebrations encouraging shoppers to stock up on Scottish favourites such as steak pies and haggis.

The best performers in the non-food category were homeware and furniture retailers, with consumers "looking to freshen up their homes".

Skincare products, vitamins and diet goods also did well.

Paul Martin, from KPMG, said: "Following a dreary December for retailers, January brought a glimmer of hope.

"Shoppers took full advantage of winter discounts which boosted sales, but these figures are also a reminder that consumers are prepared to wait for heavy discounts before purchasing, putting further pressure on retailers.

"The festive period is now well and truly a distant memory and retailers will be doing all they can to adapt and remain agile in this rapidly evolving market".

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites