Scottish retail sales for July continue to be “underwhelming” as shoppers keep their hands in their pockets, the latest statistics show.
Total sales in Scotland decreased by 0.3% compared with July 2018, when they had increased by 1.1%. This is above the 3-month average decline of 1.9% but below the 12-month average decline of 0.1%.
Scottish sales decreased by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis compared with July 2018, when they had increased by 0.1%, which is above the three-month average decrease of 2.4%.
Although the value of grocery sales increased, much of this has been attributed to rising food inflation.
Clothing, footwear, along with health and beauty categories all struggled.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium said: “The value of Scottish retail sales edged down last month, admittedly after a tough comparable July in 2018.
“The dip was at a much more modest rate than witnessed the previous month and comes after disappointing footfall figures unveiled earlier this week.
“Shoppers have kept a firm grip on their purses and wallets of late, with July rounding off an underwhelming three months for the industry.
“Indeed, over the past year as a whole retail sales have essentially been flat.”
Total non-food sales decreased by 1.9% in July compared to July 2018, when they had decreased by 2.4%.
This is above both the three-month and 12-month average declines of 4.3% and 2.2% respectively.
Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales, total non-food sales decreased by 0.7% in July versus July 2018, when they had decreased by 0.5%.
Paul Martin, UK head of retail for KPMG warned retailers that now is the time to develop a clear strategy focussed on managing immdeiate cost efficiences and exploring growth opportunities through new buisness models or partnership.
Mr Martin said: “The latest figures will not provide much welcome news.
“The long-term outlook for Scotland’s high streets continues to remain challenging”