Encouraging food growth

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FOOD sales in Scotland outperformed total retail during January.

This was revealed in the latest retail monitor from the Scottish retail Consortium with KPMG.

Reporting that total sales in Scotland for the month increased by 1.3% compared with January 2019, the monitor found that total food sales increased 2.7% against January 2019, when they had increased by 4.9%.

This was above the three-month and 12-month averages of 2.4% and 2.3% respectively and these averages remained above the UK’s growth levels of 0.6% and 1.2%.

The SRC’s head of policy and external affairs, Ewan MacDonald-Russell, said: “Food sales were particularly strong, with Hogmanay and Burns Night celebrations during the period, although it’s likely at least some of the 2.7% increase was the result of inflation.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, added: “January is typically a challenging month for Scotland’s retail sector, so any rise will be a small victory for the industry.

“It’s too early to say with complete certainty that we’re entering a period of renewed consumer confidence, but with total sales increasing by 1.3% compared with January 2019, it’s been a positive start to 2020.

“We’re off to a somewhat positive start, but the industry remains relatively nervous about what lies ahead.”