The retail sector in Scotland saw a small increase in the last month following a disappointing performance in August, according to a report by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).
The colder temperatures and inclement conditions were largely cited as being the reason for the increase, with the SRC’s Fiona Moriarty saying:
“Clothing and footwear performed well in September, thanks in part to demand for warmer clothing when sunshine gave way to more autumnal conditions.”
However, while total sales were up by 1% on 2011 too, the SRC said that when accounting for inflation, they were flat.
Moriaty, the director of the SRC, did suggest that the improvements could continue, though did also warn that challenges would still be faced, saying:
“Retailers will be hoping that this very tentative boost builds as we head towards the crucial Christmas season, rather than fading amid new worries about rising household bills.”
Christmas is already having an effect on the figures, with festive-themed confectionery performing particularly well. Strong food sales were seen throughout the figures, with the total volumes being 3.4% higher than the previous year.
It will be hoped that further Christmas sales, on food and non-food, will drive sales volumes ever higher, with many retailers still facing cash flow issues. Some are working to alleviate this pressure through such concepts as invoice factoring, however.
While the SRC and KPMG report is good news on the whole, it does show that Scotland’s performance is behind the national average. The level of growth throughout the UK remains 2.4% higher than here.