Retail sales ‘in a funk’

covid sign on high street
Retail sales still lag behind 2019.

SCOTTISH retail sales are still well down on pre-pandemic performance, according to the latest figures produced by KPMG for the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).

Figures for the four weeks to 1 May 2021 revealed that total food sales were down 7.2% compared to April 2019, when they had increased by 0.8%.

Despite the decline, food sales continue to outperform retail in general, with total sales in Scotland down 15.6% against the same period in 2019. Total non-food sales were down by 22.7% against April 2019.

David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, said: “Scottish retail sales remained in a funk last month, down by a sixth on the comparable pre-pandemic trading period two years ago.

“While the re-opening of non-essential stores and associated pent up demand in the final week of April provided a much-needed fillip, especially for fashion retailers, it couldn’t make up for the rest of the month.

“Scotland lagged well behind the UK as a whole, unsurprising after shops here missed out on an extra fortnight of trading compared to counterparts in Wales and England.”