Scottish retail sales rebound with bumper discounts

Retail sales rebounded in Scotland last month as “exceptional” discounts reeled in shoppers, a report today suggests.

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale hailed a 'sprightly' set of results. Picture: John Devlin

Total Scottish sales were up by 1 per cent compared with October 2018, when they had decreased by 0.2 per cent, found the latest retail sales monitor from the Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG.

On a like-for-like basis sales north of the Border dipped by 0.1 per cent compared with October last year.

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The non-food category enjoyed a particular boost, recording its strongest performance for five years.

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale said: “This is a sprightly set of results, highlighting a more broadly based pick-up in demand across retail sub-sectors. This was buoyed by exceptional discounting as retailers’ used keen prices and promotions to successfully drive footfall and demand.

“It also points to the volatility of retail market conditions at the moment, following a slew of poor months.

“The coming weeks and months will be dominated by the general election, Brexit and UK and Scottish budgets. Retailers will be hoping policy-makers keep consumer confidence and household disposable incomes uppermost in their minds.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, added: “After a particularly challenging and prolonged period of uncertainty, the latest figures provide some reassurance and confidence. The next few months will be crucial for Scotland’s high streets, as shoppers prepare for the festive spending period."

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