Official figures have suggested that a tentative recovery for retailers could be in line, as the number of people visiting shopping outlets increased last month.
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) figures have shown that compared to the same period last year, the footfall in store was up by one per cent. Describing the figures as “reassuring” for the industry, Fiona Moriarty, the SRC director said:
“Scotland didn’t see as much sunshine as some areas further south towards the end of April, so it’s all the more positive to see that footfall is in line with the UK average in spite of the delayed onset of milder weather.”
There was also slight a drop in the number of empty shops; from 10.2 per cent in January to 10 per cent in April. With many shop owners looking to boost cash flow through invoice discounting and factoring, this is seen as another positive development.
This is also significantly lower than the UK average of 11.9 per cent, and better than both Wales (17.9 per cent) and Northern Ireland (18.1 per cent). Moriarty also said:
“While still in double digits, the Scottish vacancy rate has edged down marginally on the previous quarter and is well below the UK average, further strengthening the case for cautious optimism.”
She went on to say that when combined with data reflecting confidence returning to consumers, and good news over sales figures, the results offered a “tentative” sign of improvements across the board.