'Disappointing' June For Retailers

19 July 2017, 07:12

edinburgh shoppers

Retailers experienced a "disappointing'' June, with strong food sales cancelled out by poor figures for other goods.

Over the period, Scottish sales increased by 0.2% on a like-for-like basis, which excludes new store openings, compared to the same month last year.

Total sales were down by 0.5% compared with June 2016, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium-KPMG Scottish retail sales monitor.

Adjusted for deflation, measured at 0.3%, overall June sales fell by 0.1%.

Food sales were up 4.2% but non-food sales dropped by the same percentage.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "A disappointing June for retailers as nervous customers continue to postpone discretionary spending due to squeezed household incomes and worries about the economy.

"Grocery sales were up 4.2% this month and over 12 months recorded their fastest growth since April 2014.

"However, it's clear that growth derives from cost pressures from imported goods; resulting from the fall in the value of sterling.

"Our concern is inflation on essential goods is now forcing cash-strapped consumers to put off discretionary spending which exacerbates the pressure on shops.''

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, added: "Scottish retail's struggle continued in June and the figures paint a familiar picture - strong food sales negated by poor non-food performance.

"The drop in non-food sales, down 4.2% compared to last year, is becoming something of a bleak trend whilst poor sales in summer ranges and the late arrival of some discounts put a dent in clothing figures.

"Elsewhere in non-food, the dreich weather impacted on sales of outdoor furniture.

"We should know not to rely on summer sunshine in Scotland or risk disappointment, but a gloomy month has taken its toll nonetheless.

"The effect of Scotland's wettest June in over a century was felt across the industry.''