Sluggish retail sales

Food bucked the sales trend again.

SCOTTISH food sales continue to buck the trend, in a retail sector that is otherwise struggling to hit pre-Covid performance.

KPMG figures for the four weeks to 26 February, produced for the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) found total food sales in Scotland increased by 3.5% compared to the same period in February.

This was in contrast to total retail sales, which decreased by 6.3% against February 2020. However, decline seems to have slowed, as this was above both the three-month and 12-month average decreases of 9.4%.

Food sales may be outperforming total retail, but David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, warned this figure was pushed higher by inflation.

He said: “The polarisation between food and non-food continues. Food and drink sales continued to perform well, albeit buoyed somewhat by food price inflation.”

He added: “There is no shortage of storm clouds facing the industry at the moment and the outlook remains uncertain.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “A double whammy of rising inflation and supply chain issues continues to impact both shoppers and retailers alike, with many consumers choosing to cut spending in order to manage increasing household bills”