Retailers encouraged by November’s sales growth

Total sales edged higher once deflation was accounted for. Picture: John Devlin
Total sales edged higher once deflation was accounted for. Picture: John Devlin
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Total retail sales in Scotland recorded a “promising” third successive month of real-terms positive growth in November, experts said today.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and KPMG Retail Sales Monitor figures showed total retail sales last month fell by 1.5 per cent compared with November 2015.

However, when adjusted for deflation measured at 1.7 per cent by the BRC-Nielsen shop price index, sales were found to have risen by 0.2 per cent in real terms.

Total food sales were flat on last November while non-food sales dropped 2.7 per cent compared to a year ago, which retail experts are attributing to Black Friday promotional and discounting activity.

READ MORE: Black Friday: Glasgow to splash out as Edinburgh shuns sales

SRC director David Lonsdale said: “Total retail sales in Scotland recorded a third successive month of real-terms positive growth, albeit at a pace less marked than in October. This promising news was underpinned by further improvements in grocery sales, which grew for a third month in a row; the best quarterly performance in almost three years.”

He added: “Non-food sales were heavily driven by online sales arising from Black Friday. Promotional and discounting activity by retailers around cyber-weekend led to electricals and electronic goods performing particularly well last month, as did fragrances.

“The two months leading up to Christmas account for a fifth of annual retail spending and these figures provide grounds for optimism for the rest of this crucial trading period.”

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland at KPMG, added: “Online is the new black in 2016 as cyber sales drove much of the growth while stealing the show on Black Friday.

“This may well herald the tone of years to come, with increasingly sophisticated online sales technology giving consumers a convenient yet rich shopping experience without the hassle of crowds.”

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