• 12 month average performance the worst on record
• Halloween demand fails to prevent October like-for-like crash
FOOD sales slumped across Scotland last month, with like-for-like figures down 4.2% on the same time last year, according to figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium and accountants KPMG. And while demand for Halloween goods was strong, unseasonally high temperatures did not help the sale of cold-weather goods.
Total food sales decreased by 2.7% year on year in October, slightly down on September. Year-on-year sales have now dropped for six consecutive months although the category’s three-month performance showed improvement on the previous month and is 0.9% below the 1.4% decline for the UK.
However, the 12-month average decline for food deepened to 1.2%, an all-time low, compared to a decline of 1.9% for the UK.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Food and drink sales continued to wilt further despite good demand for Halloween-related fare.
“Looking forward, retailers will be heartened by the news that growth in average pay is now outstripping inflation for the first time in five years. Shopkeepers will be hoping that this – alongside sustained rises in footfall over recent months – translates into greater levels of confidence as we approach Christmas.”
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, added: “Food retailers will be disappointed to feel the gap widening against the rest of the UK for the last three months.”