Easter 'bounce' for Scotland's high streets
An Easter "bounce" brought some cheer to Scotland's high streets last month, according to new figures.
Total sales in Scotland increased by 4.4% compared with a year ago, when the run-up to Easter fell in March.
This year's Easter weekend helped to lift food sales by 8.6%, while non-food sales rose year-on-year by 0.8%.
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said it had been a strong result in an important trading period for food and drink retailers.
SRC head of policy Ewan MacDonald Russell said: "Whilst the figures were flattered by the distortion caused by the run-up to Easter falling in March last year, there does seem to have been a small bounce in consumer spending which will raise spirits on the high street after what feels like a very long and flat winter."
Paul Martin, UK head of retail for KPMG, said food retailers "were the clear winners once again" as families and friends came together over the bank holiday for Easter feasts.
He added: "The good weather proved to be both a blessing and a curse for retailers, with some shoppers choosing to refresh summer wardrobes while others ventured into the great outdoors and away from the shops.
"Outdoor furniture sales fared particularly well in April, as did outdoor toys for children, with parents endeavouring to keep youngsters entertained over the long weekend.
"April may have eased the pressure on retailers somewhat, but the new tax year also presents retailers with additional costs, from increased minimum wages to additional pension contributions."