Covid still biting retail

Store Front which reads "Welcome Back"
Retail is back, but sales are down.
Image from Shutterstock/ Ilyas Tayfun Salci

SCOTTISH retail sales growth continues to be sluggish, as total retail sales figures lag behind pre-pandemic levels.

KPMG figures produced for the Scottish Retail Consortium found that total retail sales for Scotland did increase by 7.4% compared with July 2020, but this was still below pre-pandemic levels, with total retail sales down 4.4% compared to July 2019 figures.

Total food sales continued to outperform retail as a whole, with a 1.8% increase compared to July 2020, above the 3-month average of 0.7%, but below the 12-month average of 2.3% .

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs for the SRC, said: “July saw retail sales improve on 2020’s rather desperate performance which came in the aftermath of the first lockdown, but remain below pre-pandemic trading.

“Indeed, the 4.4% fall compared to 2019 was disappointing after two months where there seemed to be a path back to growth. It seems Scottish retailers have a longer wait in store.”