Food sales show a summer smile

The Rio Olympics, suggested to be one reason pressure on food sales eased in August.

FOOD sales in August in Scotland might not have won any gold medals for the high jump but they did return one of their best performances this year in the latest Scottish Retail Consortium KPMG Retail Price Monitor.

Compared to the same month last year sales were down by 0.3% but that compared to a much more severe 1.6% decline that had been recorded in July.

The Monitor partners reckon the big summer of sport, including an Olympics where Team GB performed exceptionally well, helped food sales.

David McCorquodale, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “Food sales in Scotland were the star performer in an otherwise disappointing month. Despite the deflationary environment causing further shrinking, the sector saw its best three-month average growth for more than two years. Staycations, coupled with the Rio Olympics, saw families gathering at home to watch Team GB, helping to drive increased volumes.”

But SRC director David Lonsdale said overall retail performance remained fragile and ministers should avoid placing any extra tax burden on consumers and should look closely at what he said is the rising tax burden on Scottish retailers.