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Food for thought on costs

Inflation gives lift to Scottish retail sales

Prince St retail shopping

Sales have risen in several categories (photo by Terry Murden)

Inflation helped drive higher sales for Scottish retailers, particularly grocers and clothing businesses.

However, big ticket purchases, such as furniture and white goods, remained subdued.

Total September sales in Scotland rose by 1.1% compared with September 2016, when they declined by 0.6%, according to the latest monthly data from the Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG.

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, said: “On a 12-month basis, Food sales growth is now standing at 2.7% – the highest since December 2013. Price inflation undoubtedly continues to be a key driver of this growth.

“Clothing was a big winner in September, with mid-season discounts on autumn ranges tempting consumers to restock their wardrobes. The change in season also positively influenced health and beauty sales, with both high-end and essential cosmetics brands seeing growth following seasonal promotions.

“Smaller home improvement goods performed well over September, as Scottish consumers fine-tuned their homes in preparation for winter.

“Growth was also reported in mobile technology, accessories and gaming, with the latest smartphones and major computer games providing a welcome boost to sales in September.”

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Rising inflation continues to soak up a large proportion of household earnings which should provide politicians considering imposing costs on consumers with serious food for thought.”

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