June a 'difficult month'

Shoppers hold back on spending amid growing uncertainty

Prince St retail shopping

Retailers have seen a slump in sales (pic: Terry Murden)


Shoppers are restricting their discretionary spending and only buying what they need, according to a retail analyst, following weak figures last month.

June proved “another difficult month” for Scottish shops and Ewan MacDonald Russell, head of policy at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said there was a general lack of confidence among consumers.

Scottish sales decreased by 3.1% on a like-for-like basis compared with June 2018, when they had increased by 2%. This is below the 3-month average decrease of 1%. Food sales were up by 0.8% but non-food sales were 4.8% lower than the same period last year.

Mr MacDonald Russell said: “The SRC remains concerned the intense political and economic volatility, along with the prospect of further costs resulting from government policy, is discouraging consumption.

“The consequence of the unending Brexit gridlock and stagnation is reduced confidence amongst retailers and consumers – which can only reduce overall growth.”

Paul Martin, head of KPMG which compiles the figures, said: “The latest figures provide further evidence that growing economic and political uncertainty is taking its toll on Scotland’s high streets.

“While non-food sales fell victim to the largest dip, food retailers are far from immune from the difficult trading conditions, with another flat performance.”

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