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Bright spot in Scottish clothing & footwear retail sales

20
Aug '12
July 2012 total Scottish sales fell by 0.7% compared with July 2011, which had seen growth of 1.7%. Like-for-like sales decreased by 2.2% on last July, when they had risen by 0.2%.

Total non-food sales declined by 1.5% on a year earlier, despite an improved performance from clothing and footwear. On a like-for-like basis the 3-month average has been in decline since January 2011.
 
Like-for-like and total retail sales growths remain below the whole of the UK. Like-for-like sales growth in Scotland has lagged the UK every month since the beginning of last year.
 
Richard Lim, Scottish Retail Consortium Economist, said: "The bright spot in non-food retail was clothing and footwear. Severe discounting and some cooler weather in July got people buying new Autumn ranges and school uniforms did well but, generally, Scottish retailers continue to scan the horizon for sight of the urgently-needed upturn."
 
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail in Scotland, KPMG, said: "July was another disappointing month for the Scottish high street with rainfall, particularly in the South and East, keeping any summer revival at bay. Despite heavy promotions from retailers, like-for-like sales in both food and non-food were down by more than 2 per cent on the previous year. Total food sales were virtually flat. That's lower than inflation, a real-terms fall, and reflective of continued caution in spending on anything other than necessities. Total non-food sales were down by 1.5 per cent as families grappled with the ongoing effects of unseasonal weather on clothes purchases as well as continuing to avoid committing to buying larger ticket items.
 
"The lack of any feelgood factor encouraging consumers into the shops has provided a set of figures much more indicative of the true underlying trend. These show weakness in sentiment as disposable incomes remain squeezed, despite the fall in headline inflation. It's a real challenge for retailers to grow sales and many are only achieving this at the expense of margins.
 
"Time will tell what uplift came from a fantastic Olympic games but the eventual arrival of summer weather may be too late with schools back in the next two weeks". 

Scottish Retail Consortium


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