ANNUAL food sales growth hit its highest level since April 2014 this summer, new figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium for June reveal. However, overall retail sales numbers paint a less than rosy picture.
In June, total sales in Scotland fell by 0.5% compared to June 2016, when they had declined by 1.4%, a figure dragged down by the poor performance of non-food products.
Total non-food sales declined 4.2% in June compared to the same period in 2016, when they had increased by 0.1%. This is below the 12 month average decline of 2.8%.
Ewan MacDonald-Russel, SRC’s head of policy and external affairs, commented on what he described as a “disappointing June for retailers”.
“Nervous consumers continue to postpone discretionary spending due to squeezed household incomes and worries about the economy,” he said.
“In real terms sales fell by 0.1%, with non-food sales in store down by 4.2%. Even when the positive impact of online sales are included, non-food sales were down 1.2% across the last three months.
“Grocery sales were up 4.2% this month and over 12 months recorded their fastest growth since April 2014. However, it’s clear that growth derives from cost pressures from imported goods; resulting from the fall in the value of sterling.”