According to the latest SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor, February saw total Scottish sales decreased by 1.0% compared with February 2013, when they had increased by 0.7%.
Like-for-like sales decreased by 2.5% on last February, when they had decreased by 0.1% - taking account of shop price deflation at 1.4%, February total sales were up 0.5% in real terms.
Growth in Scotland was below the UK in February - the Scottish three-month average growth was 0.9%, now below the twelve-month average of 1.6%.
David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "These sales figures confirm that Scottish retailers experienced a challenging February. Following the drop in footfall we recorded earlier this week, we have seen total sales falling by 1% and like for like sales dropping 2.5%. As in the rest of the UK, we have seen a particularly tough environment in the food market. Margins are under pressure and while the intense competition brings benefits to Scottish consumers in terms of keeping prices low, it can be a challenging environment for the businesses involved."
"It is worth remembering that these results follow a strong start to the year in January and within the overall results there are also some categories that are performing strongly. Footwear in particular is well ahead of the UK average and online and multi-channel sales are also providing a boost for Scottish retailers."