Mixed performance for Scottish retail in March

Retailers in Scotland saw sales fall last month, but the overall picture was patchy, according to data out today.

Total sales in Scotland were down last month. Picture: Jane Barlow

Total sales north of the Border fell 1.3 per cent in the five weeks to 2 April compared with the same period last year.

However, the retail sales monitor report from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and KPMG said non-food sales, adjusted for online sales, rose a “healthy” 1.2 per cent. Household goods such as furniture and flooring did particularly well.

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Cold weather and early Easter deter shoppers

David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, said: “While it’s disappointing to see Scottish retail sales chalk up another month of decline, we did fare better than the rest of the UK in March which suffered a much deeper slowdown in sales.

“Customers, it seems, are feeling increasingly ready to invest in larger items and homewares. Food and clothing sales were both negative and likely impacted by the very early Easter which will have distorted shopping patterns.”