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'Blue Monday'

Retailers demand extension of business rates relief

Multrees Walk, shop, retail, Edinburgh

Shops in Scotland suffered worst December trading (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland’s retailers are making fresh demands on the government after the worst ever December trading.

Retail sales fell in real terms by 15%, the worst since June, as lockdowns at the start and end of the month snuffed out hopes of a late rally to end the year.

“It was a Blue Christmas for retail – and with shopkeepers missing out on much of the golden trading quarter the pressure on those businesses is reaching boiling point,” said David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium.

“It isn’t just down to weak Christmas trading. Across 2020 sales fell massively – far and away the worst figures SRC has reported during 22 years of the survey.

“A firm commitment in the Scottish Budget to further business rates relief is a must.”

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