Retailers in Scotland suffered the worst December sales growth since records began, new figures reveal.
According to the Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG, Scotland’s sales rose by only 1.6% and, on a like-for-like basis, by just 0.4% over December 2010.
The figures were the worst for December since at least 1999, when SRC and KPMG started recording Scotland’s sales figures 13 years ago. On a more positive note, however, the figures do show the strongest year-on-year growth since July.
Non-food like-for-likes managed a 0.8% rise on the same month last year, encouraged by heavy discounting, but food sales fell 0.1%.
KPMG’s head of retail in Scotland, David McCorquodale, commented: “Christmas this year came at a real cost to retailers as the discounting was deep, impacting margins, and opening hours were longer, costing more in wages. Several retailers haven’t made it into the New Year and more shop closures are anticipated in the coming months.
“With consumer confidence no better than during the recession, the outlook remains difficult and retailers will continue to focus on cash management, stock control and on working with their supply chains.”