Sales worst for nearly two years

Food sales growth has slowed down

THE post-summer Scottish retail sales slowdown continued for the four weeks until 24 November, with sales decreasing by 2.1% on a like-for-like basis compared to November 2017.

According to the latest figures produced by KPMG for the Scottish Retail Consortium, total food sales increased by 2.8% compared with November 2017 — faring better than non-food — but still below the three-month and 12-month averages of 3.0% and 3.9% respectively.

David Lonsdale, director at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Retail sales in November recorded their poorest performance for twenty-one months, with pretty dire results for items deemed less essential dragging overall retail sales into negative territory.

“Grocery sales grew but at a less pronounced pace than witnessed during the summer and early autumn.

“Food, gaming, mobile phone and associated accessories fared reasonably well, however toys, beauty products, clothing, footwear and smaller domestic appliances struggled.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail  at KPMG said that grocery sales were “fairly stagnant” compared to the heights of summer and warned “heavy discounting” isn’t as successful at attracting footfall as it once was.

“Against a backdrop of deep discounting, sales growth and profitability don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, and retailers will need to keep a tight focus on margins.”