Christmas fare helps slow the sales decline but totals still below the year before
DESPITE an apparent willingness by consumers to push the Christmas boat out, Scotland’s food retail industry ended a difficult year in 2014 by registering its eighth consecutive month where the value of sales was less than the year before.
The Scottish Retail Consortium – KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor found that total food sales north of the border in December 2014 were 1.9% down on December the year before.
Like-for-like food sales (which strip out stores that had either begun or ceased trading during the year) were down by even more, showing a decline of 2.8%.
But the partners behind the monitor found some comfort that the drop was not as severe as experienced earlier in the year.
“The decline in food sales was less marked, turning in its best performance since August, helped by purchases of Christmas-related fare,” said David Lonsdale, director of the SRC.
“Holyrood is set to exert significant influence over take-home pay and disposable incomes later this year when it begins setting income tax rates and when the first minister’s alternative to council tax is unveiled. It is absolutely imperative that these decisions on personal levels of taxation, and therefore the amount of money in people’s pockets, are ones which support consumer spending and economic recovery.”