Decorations record

Shoppers stock up on Christmas trimmings

Christmas decorations

Decorations have gone up early this year

Scots spent a record amount on Christmas decorations last month in an attempt to add some sparkle to a grim year.

Shoppers were also were buying festive gifts early, albeit where necessary from grocery and digital retailers as physical shops were closed across 11 local authorities.

Scottish retail sales plummeted in November as retailers were hammered by the Level 4 lockdowns. Overall sales fell by 8.4% in real terms on last year, but it was non-food stores which truly suffered with sales falling by more than a fifth (22.8%).

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, Head of Policy and External Affairs – Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “It wasn’t all bad news. Food sales accelerated for the third consecutive month, benefitting from the continuing lack of competition from closed hospitality businesses and the launch of festive ranges.

“For many retailers it’s all going to come down to December trading; and in West and Central Scotland the last 14 days running up to Christmas.

“One in eight pounds is traditionally spent in December, so there will be opportunities for stores to attract customers.

“However, unless we see a big change from the last ten months of falling sales and declining footfall, it’s going to be very difficult for a lot of businesses in January.

“With that in mind, early clarity on business rates relief and a commitment to a high street voucher to stimulate some spending would be very welcome from Scottish Ministers in the near future.”

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