A WET February put the dampeners on total retail sales according to the latest SRC-KPMG Scottish retail sales monitor – but food sales managed to hold strong.
Total food sales in Scotland increased 2.9% versus February 2019, when they had increased by 3%. This was above the 3-month and 12-month averages for the sector in Scotland and 1.9 percentage points above the three-month average for the UK as a whole.
Non food retail sales were down by 3.8% in February as compared to the same period in 2019.
David Lonsdale, director at SRC said: “These figures underline how tough trading conditions were in Scotland’s retail destinations in February, even before the coronavirus onslaught of the past fortnight, with retail sales essentially flat once shop price inflation is considered.
“There was little respite for shoppers or shopkeepers, who were buffeted by a maelstrom of multiple storms and miserable weather which kept customers at bay, shrinking footfall in the process.
“It comes against the backdrop of an industry going through an intense period of structural change.
“While grocery, health products and some indoor categories such as electrical items like white goods and TVs fared well, fashion and footwear wilted badly and recorded its weakest performance since last May.”