A new survey by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has indicated the strongest sales growth for nearly two years.
The way the figures have been compiled this year, has tempered the news however. The KPMG-SRC survey shows that total retail sales were up more than 2% in January. It also showed that year on year food sales were up 5.2%. This year though the report included New Year Eve figures, where previously this has been added to December’s report.
Non-food sales were also down by 0.7 per cent on January 2011. The news was broadly welcomed by Fiona Moriarty who said:
“After battling consistently tough conditions through most of 2012, this is good news for Scottish retailers.”
The director of the SRC went on to say:
“The key question now is: is this just a blip or dare we hope it signals the start of a lasting revival for customers and retailers”
There were also words of warning from the head of retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale, who said:
“Retailers generally will look back on successful seasonal campaigns, be relieved that consumers responded well to promotional activity and be glad that they went into the winter with lower stocks.”
Many retailers entered the winter season with lower stocks due to a lack of cash flow too, often brought on by slow invoice payments. Many are managing to combat this growing trend through the use of factoring facilities, however.
Larger volumes of sales will certainly give retailers a confidence boost but consumer confidence was shown to remain subdued in the country, contrary to increases seen nationally.