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Scottish Retail Sales Monitor shows July suffered from tough comparables

 

In July 2014 total Scottish sales decreased by 1.8% compared with July 2013, when they had increased by 4.0%, the strongest growth recorded in 2013, according to the SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor.

Like-for-like sales decreased by 3.7% on last July, when they had increased by 1.4%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, Total Scottish sales increased by 0.1% in July.

Total Food sales were 2.8% down on July 2013, when they had increased 5.6%, the strongest food growth recorded in 2013. This is the deepest decline since March. Over the last three months, total food sales declined by 2.0%, compared to 0.1% growth over the last twelve months.

Total Non-Food sales decreased by 1.0% on a year earlier when they had increased 2.6%. Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales would have increased by 0.7%, the strongest growth in the last three months.

The gap between the three-month average growth in the UK and Scotland has narrowed, both for Food and online adjusted Non-Food.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "Despite a healthy rise in footfall witnessed on Scotland's high streets and shopping centres in July, it didn't translate into a commensurate increase in the actual value of retail sales. The total value of sales grew by a meagre 0.1% in real terms, once shop price deflation is taken into account."

"The bright spot once again was sales of non-food items which, adjusted for the contribution of online retailing, rose by 0.7%, its strongest growth over the past three months. This was driven by strong trade in outdoor furniture, DIY and home furnishings, as well as Commonwealth Games-related purchases."

"Further discounting across the grocery sector led to a fall in the total value of food sales, however comparisons with last year ought to be tempered as July 2013 was a high water mark for food related sales. A number of high profile sporting successes in the same period last year led to bumper demand for celebratory food and drink."