No comfort food as sales slump

Comfort food didn’t move quickly off the shelves as mild weather in September delayed the start of the Autumn foods season.

THE brutal market conditions in Scottish food and drink retailing have continued into the autumn. According to the latest Scottish Retail Consortium/KPMG Retail Sales Monitor report total food sales decreased by 2.9% in September, a worse performance than the previous month.

Like-for-like sales, a figure which strips out those sales that take place in stores that either opened or closed in the intervening 12 months, were down 3.9%.
In the average grocery shop in Scotland, therefore, for every £100 spent on food and drink in September 2013 only slightly more than £96 was spent in September 2014.
However some of the greatest declines are likely to have come in the large outlets of the major supermarkets. And sales in the discounter chains of Aldi and Lidl are known to have grown considerably.
The year-on-year change in total Scottish food sales has now been negative for five consecutive months.
The category’s three-month performance showed a record decline of 2.4%, which is worse than the 1.7% decline for the UK.
The 12-month average is a decline of 0.7%, also an all-time low.
SRC/KPMG said retailers had seen a continuation of convenience-focused shopping. And they reported a marginal shift towards purchases of summery food because mild weather effectively delayed the start of the autumn food season.
Even adjusted for uncommonly low food-price inflation of 0.3%, food sales decreased by 2.7% in real terms, the Retail Sales Monitor team said.