Scotland business

Scottish retailers report sales down in June

Fashion shop Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Fashion was the best performing category in Scotland last month

Scottish shops struggled in June after a promising early spell of warm weather, according to industry figures.

The SRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor found overall sales dropped by 1.1% on the previous year.

Food sales were 1.4% down, while non-food sales were 0.8% lower than a year earlier.

Fashion was the best performing category, with clothing and footwear reporting positive sales growth for the second consecutive month.

The monitor suggested food sales were helped by World Cup-themed deals.

However, it added that the sector was up against a tough comparable period in 2013, when very warm weather and tennis star Andy Murray's progression at Wimbledon helped to support sales.

Total Scottish sales growth was below the UK's total in June.

'Disappointingly weak'

Scottish Retail Consortium head of policy David Martin said: "Despite June's retail figures showing a slight improvement on the previous month, they rounded off a disappointingly weak second quarter.

"Warmer weather at the start of the month helped to get shoppers out, but as the weather cooled down so did sales.

"It is clear that cash-conscious consumers have grown comfortable with value, especially on food, and continue to benefit from competitive pricing driven by stiff competition between the major grocery retailers.

"The continued decline in like-for-like food sales in June is suggestive that last month wasn't any different."

Mr Martin added: "Despite a slight set back in consumer confidence in June, overall consumer confidence has rebounded significantly throughout 2014 and where consumers have made savings, they now have the confidence to loosen their belts and increase spending on those discretionary non-food items.

"Fashion continues to benefit from this confidence, with clothing and footwear the best performing category in June and the only category to report positive total sales growth now for two consecutive months."

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