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Scottish retail sales fall 2.4% in August

Retail sales fell 2.4% in Scotland in August compared to the same month last year despite the above-average temperatures.

This is the steepest year-on-year fall since May, figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium and accountancy firm KPMG show. Non-food sales fell 1.9% year on year.

Over the three months to August, total retail sales north of the border were down 2%.

David McCorquodale, head of KPMG’s UK retail sector practice, said: “High street sales in Scotland were weak on all fronts during August, with very little glimmer amidst the gloom. Despite being against a relatively strong post-Commonwealth Games, pre-referendum comparative for August 2014, the decline in sales in August is worse than both the three-month and the 12-month averages.

“The usual culprit to blame for poor sales - the weather - was not at fault this month as both temperatures and sunshine hours were at or above average for the month.

“As consumer confidence in Scotland oscillates between negative and positive, retailers will be very keen to ensure that, before long, the confidence can return sufficiently to release some of the Scottish purse strings.”

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