Scottish retailers report 'mixed' month as sales dip
Scotland's retailers experienced a mixed month in March although overall sales were down, according to industry figures.
The latest SRC-KPMG monitor found total sales for the five weeks to 2 April were 1.3% lower than the same period last year.
The non-food category saw household goods such as furniture and flooring doing well.
But fashion and footwear registered its worst decline since May last year.
The report said that fall was influenced by the early Easter.
Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) director David Lonsdale said: "While it's disappointing to see Scottish retail sales chalk up another month of decline, we did fare better than the rest of the UK in March which suffered a much deeper slowdown in sales.
"Customers, it seems, are feeling increasingly ready to invest in larger items and homewares.
"Food and clothing sales were both negative and likely impacted by the very early Easter which will have distorted shopping patterns.
"In brighter news, food and non-food were both above the three-month average and, once adjusted for the effect of online sales in Scotland, non-food sales saw a healthy increase of 1.2%."