Small lift for Scottish food

Orange Bowl Of Vegetables

GROCERY had an uninspiring festive period in Scotland, according to sales figures for the five weeks to 28 December.

The latest SRC-KPMG retail sales monitor has revealed total food sales increased 1.8% compared to the same period in 2018, below the three-month and 12-month growth averages of 2.3% and 2.4% respectively.

Despite the slow down in growth, Scottish food sales continued to outperform the UK’s three-month and 12-month growth averages of 0.7% and 1.4%.

While supermarkets had few reasons to celebrate, shoppers were able to take advantage of a price war over traditional staples.

David Lonsdale, director of the SRC noted that supermarkets cut the price of festive produce, including brussels sprouts and parsnips, in a bid to boost footfall.

Despite the modest growth, Lonsdale warned that the total sales figures for Scotland, which were up by 0.4% on 2018, suggested government must act in the interest of business.

“It is essential there continues to be a focus on keeping down costs for consumers, especially with a Scottish Budget imminent and siren calls for a myriad of measures which could put up costs for hard-pressed households.

“Just as crucially, with retailers facing very challenging trading conditions, now is not the time to rip up the business rates system by abolishing the universal business rate – instead retailers want to see a reformed system with a competitive poundage rate.”