Food sales dominate spending

Total food sales are still on the rise

MARCH sales in Scotland were underwhelming with a decrease of 0.2%  on a like for like basis compared to the same period last year, according to the latest KPMG figures produced for the Scottish Retail Consortium.

The latest figures are in line with the three-month average of a 0.2% decline, a result that the SRC reckons is disappointing because Easter fell in March this year.

Total food sales did increase, up 6.8% against March 2017 and therefore above the three-month and 12-month averages of 5.0%. and 4.8% respectively but, the report points out, this result is positively distorted by the inclusion of Easter.

SRC director David Lonsdale said: “Grocery sales once again were the bright spot, bolstered by celebrations associated with Easter and Mother’s Day.

“The Beast from the East weather phenomenon at the start of March had little impact on food sales over the trading period as a whole.”

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, added: “It hasn’t been a positive start to the year.

“Once again, March food sales dominated spending at the expense of other categories.”