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Declining consumer confidence hits Scottish retail sales

Poor weather and an emerging north-south divide in consumer confidence are hitting Scottish retail sales.

Total sales in the country fell 1.7% year-on-year in June, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor. Non-food sales (adjusted for online) increased by 0.8% - the fastest online growth since November.

SRC head of policy and external affairs David Martin said: “Online purchases really drove non-food sales in June, with the best performance for over six months. Some of this success will have been at the cost of retailer margins as end of season sales were brought forward to offset a disappointing sales performance in May.

“Nonetheless, consumers did respond well to retailers getting the offer right, particularly on clothing and footwear, whilst online provided greater visibility of stock availability and more opportunity to compare promotions.”

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Scotland’s mixed weather and declining consumer confidence held back retail sales throughout June as retailers drove volume through heavy promotions. Whilst the rest of the UK enjoyed more settled weather and strong sales growth, Scotland’s tills were rather more muted this month.

“That said, when adjusted for online sales, non-food sales showed their strongest growth since November last year.”

@KirstyMcGregor

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