Scotland business

Scottish retailers report 'dreich' sales

Clothing store Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Clothing and footwear saw the biggest decline in sales in the non-food category

Scottish retailers experienced "dreich" sales last month as shoppers tightened their purse strings after the festive period, according to a report.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and accountants KPMG found total sales were down 3.5% on the same period a year ago.

After being adjusted for deflation, January sales declined by 1.8%.

Overall food sales were down 2.6% on January 2016, while non-food sales declined by 4.3%.

In the latter category, sales were relatively strong in electrical goods and health and beauty products, while the poorest performance was seen in clothing and footwear.

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale said: "These are somewhat dreich retail sales results for January, showing a dip of nearly 2%, even when falling shop prices are taken into account.

"After the extravagances of the festive period, which saw solid sales growth in December and indeed during the final few months of last year, shoppers were clearly keeping a firmer grip on purses and wallets in January and focusing more on essential spending as lower footfall data for the period suggested."

He added: "Grocery sales dwindled last month and non-food items fell back, even once increasingly-popular online sales were factored in.

"In an otherwise drab overall set of figures, furniture, mobile phones and skincare products were among the better performers, as were grocery sales related to Burns Night and Chinese New Year."

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