Scotland business

Scottish retailers report fall in sales in October

Kid playing a tablet Image copyright other
Image caption The survey found gaming products sold well on the high street last month

Shop sales slipped last month in Scotland despite "solid demand" for gaming and beauty products and a strong online performance, according to retailers.

Total sales fell year-on-year by 1.2%, with food sales dropping by 2.7%.

The Scottish Retail Consortium-KPMG survey also found non-food sales were flat, compared with October last year.

Analysts described it as "a difficult month" for Scottish high street retailers.

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale said: "The total value of retail sales in Scotland edged down once again in October but at a far more modest rate than in the previous month.

"The bright spots were solid demand for gaming and beauty products as well as the overall positive contribution of online sales, helping sales in the non-food category record its second highest growth of the past six months.

"However, clothing and footwear sales were sluggish during the month and food and drink sales continued to wilt further despite good demand for Halloween-related fare."

'Difficult month'

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "October was a difficult month for Scottish high street retailers, particularly for those selling heavy coats and boots.

"Wet and wild at the start, the month ended with a hot Halloween - neither the best conditions for a positive consumer reaction to the promotions on offer.

"The winners were the games sellers and home accessory retailers, where weather plays less of a role."

On Tuesday, a survey by Kantar Worldpanel suggested a fall in UK grocery sales for the first time in two decades.

It estimated the value of sales fell by 0.2% for the 12 weeks to 9 November, compared with the same period last year.

That was the first decline since the market research company began tracking the industry in 1994.

It found price competition had pushed down grocery prices by 0.4%.

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