Lack of sunshine blamed for less retail spending in Scotland

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Retails sales dropped again last month with the lack of sunshine blamed for the decline.

Scottish sales decreased by 3.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis compared with June 2018, when they had increased by two per cent. This is below the three-month average decrease of one per cent.

Although total food sales increased by 0.8 per cent versus June 2018, when they had increased by 4.8 per cent, non-food sales decreased by 4.8 per cent.

Ewan MacDonald Russell, head of policy and external affairs at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Another difficult month for retailers as sales struggle to match the heights of last summer. A real-terms fall of 2.2 per cent is very troubling for the industry at a time of year when consumers should be feeling more optimistic.

“However, all the evidence shows consumers are restricting their discretionary spending, only targeting products they require right now.

“Food sales continue to slide, with a real-terms fall this month once inflation is stripped out. There is also evidence consumer trends are very different this year, with shoppers swapping frozen and barbecue food for more warming alternatives.

“Non-food also saw this phenomenon, with home products outperforming last year at the expense of outdoor goods. Fashion sales continue to be quite poor, however, with retailers reporting even discounted products under-performing expectations.

“There is a clear trend in recent months of a slowdown in consumer spending.”