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Scottish retail sales monitor for April encouraging

According to the latest SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor, for April, total Scottish sales increased by 1.9% compared with April 2013, when they had decreased by 2.1%. 
Like-for-like sales increased by 1.1% on last April, when they had decreased by 3.0%. Taking account of shop price deflation, April total sales were up 3.3% in real terms.
Total Food sales were 1.1% up on April 2013, when they had decreased 1.4%. April 2014 benefits from a positive Easter distortion.
Total Non-Food sales increased by 2.6% on a year earlier when they had decreased 2.7%. Adjusted more comprehensively for the estimated effect of online sales, total Non-Food sales would have increased by 3.2%.
Total Scottish sales growth was 0.7% year-to-date, which is below the UK total growth and the Scottish 12-month average of 1.5%.
David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "The strong Footfall data published earlier this week translated into Clothing and footwear turning in the best performance in this category for over three years. This was driven by shoppers' updating their wardrobes with seasonal wear and through purchases of children's clothing. Sales of bigger ticket items such as furniture, gardening, DIY and materials for revamping the home also did well, and total food sales picked up too. 
"What is most heartening is that a broader range of indicators crucial to the health of Scotland's retail industry have begun pointing in a more positive direction. Retail sales and footfall are both up, and the number of empty retail properties has fallen. Retailers will of course work hard to sustain this. Government and local authorities however can play their part by channelling their collective energies into ensuring that the retail industry, which is after all Scotland's largest private sector employer, is even better placed to be able to invest, expand and create jobs."

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