Scots retail sales up 1.9%; food sales rise 4.1%

Scottish retail sales increased by 1.9% in August on a like-for-like basis compared to August 2016, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor.

Total food sales in August increased 4.1% versus August 2016.

Total non-food sales declined 1.5%.

Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales, total non-food sales rose by 0.9%.

Craig Cavin, KPMG’s head of retail in Scotland said: “Scottish retail’s return to growth continued in August, as food sales’ sustained period in the black was extended.

“Grocery sales lead the charge once again, with a 4.1% year on year increase bringing the 12-month average to its highest level for more than three years.

“With August bringing children’s return to school, the Edinburgh Festival and the release of autumn clothing ranges, non-food’s recent poor performance received a late summer boost, with online sales nudging the category into growth.

“However, despite home furnishings, TVs and fridges all selling well as consumers prepare their houses for the longer autumnal evenings, other non-food remained in decline.

“Looking ahead, shop owners will have one eye on the Scottish Government’s taxation plans, announced in the coming weeks, as they look for greater support for the industry.”