Scotland business

'Upbeat' rise in Scottish shopper numbers

Shoppers in fashion store Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Clothing and footwear saw its highest growth rate for more than three years

Fashion retailers were the star performers on Scotland's high streets last month as overall sales and footfall rose, according to a report.

The Scottish Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor recorded clothing and footwear's highest growth rate for more than three years.

The figures were driven by shoppers updating their wardrobes with seasonal wear and buying children's clothing.

Total Scottish sales increased by 1.9% in April, compared with a year ago.

Food sales were 1.1% higher and non-food sales were up by 2.6%.

Taking account of shop price deflation, April total sales were 3.3% higher in real terms. The figures were helped by a late Easter this year, according to the report.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said sales of bigger ticket items such as furniture, gardening, DIY and materials for revamping the home all did well.

Earlier this week SRC released data for April which indicated that total shopper numbers were up by 5.2% on a year ago.


SRC director David Lonsdale said: "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."

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "April's bounce back due to a late Easter was more muted than hoped for in Scotland, reminding us how hard retailers are working to drive sales growth in this slowly recovering economy."

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