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Scottish retail sales down in September: SRC & KPMG

RBR Staff Writer Published 23 October 2014

Scottish retail sales decreased by 2.9% in September 2014, compared with the same time last year, when they had increased by 1.8%.

sales downward

This is the weakest performance on record, excluding Easter distortions, according to the latest report released by Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and KPMG.

Like-for-like sales decreased by 4.2% on last September, when they had decreased by 0.8%.

After adjusting for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, total Scottish sales decreased by 1%, the slowest growth since November 2012, excluding Easter distortions.

During the period, total food sales were 2.4% down on September 2013, when they had increased 2.3%. This is in line with the average over the last three months, which also fell by 2.4%, compared to a decline of 0.7% over the last twelve months.

Total Non-Food sales decreased by 3.3% on the previous year when they had increased 1.4%. This is the first time Non-Food has underperformed Food since December 2013.

The agency noted that the gap between the three-month average total sales growth in the UK and Scotland remained in line with the narrowing seen in August. It stands at -1.3% in Scotland against -3.0% in the UK.

Scottish Retail Consortium Policy and External Affairs head David Martin said: "September was a challenging month for retailers with a combination of factors contributing to the weakest sales performance since January 1999, excluding Easter distortions.

"Despite the testing environment last month there are encouraging signs for the industry as the build up to Christmas begins. As we approach Christmas, the search for talented seasonal staff has begun, to support the extra demand from shoppers."

KPMG Retail head David McCorquodale said: "A nation gripped by politics and blessed with unseasonably warm weather shunned the high street in September.

"Whilst this month's sales figures set some weakest performance records, I see this as more of a disappointment for retailers battling against circumstances rather than a trend," McCorquodale added.