SRC-KPMG: Scottish sales decreased by 3.8% in January 2016 vs the same month last year

  • In January 2016, total Scottish sales decreased by 3.8% compared with January 2015, when they had declined by 2.3%. This is the weakest Store performance since April 2012, but follows the best performance since January 2014 in the prior month. Like-for-like sales decreased by 4.0% on last January, when they had decreased by 3.1%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI), total Scottish sales decreased by 2.0%.
  • Total Food sales were 5.8% down on January 2015, when they had decreased 1.4%, their slowest year-on-year performance on record. Adjusted for the effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales increased by 0.2% over a decline of 1.1% in January 2015, their worst performance since October 2015.
  • Three-month average total Non-Food sales growth was 0.9% (online adjusted) in Scotland, against a growth of 2.8% in the UK.
  • LONDON, 2016-Feb-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “There is no denying that these are dour retail sales figures for January, showing a decline of two percent even once falling shop price inflation is taken into account. After the excess of the festive period, which saw solid retail sales growth in December, shoppers were clearly keeping a firm grip on purse strings and wallets in January even as footfall improved.

    “Food sales plunged last month, albeit after a strong showing the previous month, and at a faster rate than the 3-month average. The total year-on-year change of retail sales of non-food items dipped too. However, after taking account of the trend for online purchasing and discounting by retailers to shift stock, non-food sales remained positive. In fact, the 3-month trend for online adjusted non-food achieved its best performance since September 2015. Other non-food was the best performing category from an otherwise drab overall set of figures, with sales of larger furniture items holding up well. Clothing and footwear followed closely, with winter clothing, boots and sport shoes amongst the stand out performers during the month.

    “With the Chancellor’s Budget just a month away and the publication of the Holyrood election manifestos almost upon us, Scotland’s retailers will be looking for measures which will further improve consumer confidence, boost disposable incomes and keep down the cost of living. With half of VAT receipts being assigned to the Scottish Parliament our politicians at Holyrood have a direct stake in facilitating a flourishing retail industry.”

    David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “Storms battered the Scottish high streets in January, resulting in the weakest performance for some time and a washout to start 2016. With the month producing 145 per cent of average rainfall and only 63 per cent of average sunshine, it was one of the wettest and dullest Januarys for a century. As a consequence, total sales were down by 3.8 per cent compared with last year.

    “Food sales were particularly badly hit, falling by 5.8 per cent. Having enjoyed one of its best months for a couple of years in December, the grocers will be hoping figures for January were a consequence of the deluge rather than the post-Christmas diet. Even with the benefit of adjusting for the effect of online sales, the weather put the brakes on recent growth in non-food sales, which increased by only 0.2 per cent.

    “With an election looming and ongoing challenges in the oil and gas industry, the Scottish retail sector will be looking to the Government to find ways to encourage consumer confidence and to alleviate unnecessary burdens on retailers. They will also be hoping the latest sales decline was genuinely weather related rather than consumer malaise.”

    British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

    Scottish Retail Consortium: diet and nutrition at the heart of retail priorities ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election

    LONDON, 2015-12-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, the Scottish Retail Consortium is launching the third of four policy papers setting out the key priorities of the retail industry for each of the political parties ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

    As set out in today’s publication, diet and nutrition is being put at the heart of retail priorities for political manifestos.

    Major food retailers have led the food industry in helping consumers to make healthier choices through a wide range of initiatives including the rollout of our front of pack nutrition labelling scheme, working on reformulation to produce nutritionally improved food and using new media to directly engage the consumer.

    Through working on their products, retailers have removed thousands of tonnes of sugar, salt and billions of calories from a wide selection of products that we enjoy every day in Scotland. Retailers have also been the first to remove the use of hydrogenated vegetable fats from all their food stuffs and have gone further by removing large quantities of saturated fat from ready meals, desserts, crisps, pastries and other products.

    Against a challenging economic backdrop retailers have also ensured that hard-pressed consumers can feed their families from a choice of high quality, nutritious food and on a budget. This has included the extensive and daily price promotion of fruit and vegetables, provision of menu cards, meal suggestions and cooking tips to help combat the myth that healthy food is more expensive.

    The challenge of combating Scotland’s track record for poor diet and health is not one for the retail industry alone. That is why the publication is also setting out a range of commitments we would like to see each of the political parties adopt in order to support further progress not just from the retail industry but also to secure greater responsibility from the wider food industry and to support more informed consumer decisions.

    Commenting on the launch of the Diet & Nutrition paper David Martin, Head of Policy and External Affairs said:

    “Retailers have taken great strides over recent years to make it easier for consumers to improve their diet and lifestyle through empowering customers and improving their products.

    “Whilst it is ultimately up to individuals and parents to control their own and their children’s diet and physical activity, retailers have been working hard so that consumers can make the healthier choice through a revolution in how they communicate nutritional content, promoting healthier options like fruit and vegetables and helping customers to prepare healthier meals.

    “Our members have also gone one step further by ensuring that own-brand products are healthier by removing thousands of tonnes of sugar, salt and billions of calories and reducing the fat content.

    “Retailers have been very progressive in these areas but are being put at a competitive disadvantage because a significant proportion of the food industry has not made this investment in public health. As we approach the Holyrood election we ask each of the political parties to bear this in mind to take steps to help retailers go further but also to ensure that the entire food industry is playing its part.”

    Ends

    Notes to editors:
    The Diet & Nutrition paper launched today can be accessed here

    For media enquiries please contact David Martin, Head of Policy and External Affairs, on 07880 039 743 or email david.martin@brc.org.uk

    SOURCE: British Retail Consortium

    Scottish Retail Consortium submits its recommendations to the Scottish Government on its tax and spending plans

    LONDON, 2015-11-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The SRC has set out its recommendations to the Scottish Government on its tax and spending plans for the coming year. The submission outlines the current challenging trading conditions for Scottish retailers and proposes the creation of a Retail Industry Strategy as well as improvements to business rates. The document also outlines the industry’s views on the new Scottish Rate of Income tax, a mooted Scotland-wide deposit return scheme and other devolved taxes and levies.

    Please find the document here

    For press queries please contact David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, david.lonsdale@brc.org.uk 07801629088

    SOURCE: British Retail Consortium

    Scottish Retail Consortium Director David Lonsdale on reviewing business rates in Northern Ireland

    LONDON, 2015-10-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Responding to the publication by the Northern Ireland Executive of a consultation paper reviewing business rates in Northern Ireland, the Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, David Lonsdale, said:

    “Just as in Northern Ireland, the £2.8 billion Scottish system of business rates is not fit for purpose, disincentivises investment and has become a disproportionate burden on businesses the length and breadth of the country. Now that a government review is taking place in Northern Ireland, as is currently the case in England, it is even more imperative that Scottish Ministers look again at this issue and options for a fundamentally reformed approach to rates that better reflects economic conditions, promotes growth and reduces the tax burden.”

    ENDS

    Notes to editors
    1. The SRC published its Holyrood 2016: Business Rates in August 2015. You can find the publication here

    For media enquiries please contact David Martin, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the SRC: 07880039743 david.martin@brc.org.uk

    British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

    Scottish Retail Consortium David Martin: The current system of business rates has become a tax on jobs and growth and undermines investment in property

    LONDON, 2015-10-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following the announcement today that the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney MSP, is to provide powers for discretionary business rates relief to local authorities, as already announced and set out in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, David Martin, Head of Policy & External Affairs at the Scottish Retail Consortium said:

    “The current system of business rates has become a tax on jobs and growth and undermines investment in property, especially in town centre and high streets. There is a strong and growing consensus across business and industry that the current system is out of date and no longer fit for purpose.

    “The announcement today from the Deputy First Minister, whilst not new, is welcome acknowledgment of the need to keep costs down on retailers and other businesses.

    “It is, however, a missed opportunity to arrest the cost pressures and structural deficiencies in the system which undermine existing businesses and holds back new investment. We need a more imaginative approach to reform in Scotland, one which leads to business rates flexing with economic conditions and a more sustainable overall reduction in the tax burden for ratepayers.”

    Ends

    Notes to Editors:

    1. In August, the Scottish Retail Consortium launched the first in a series of papers ahead of the Holyrood 2016 Election setting out the key arguments for reform of business rates and proposed actions for each of the political parties. The publication can be accessed here

    2. In February 2015, the SRC set out a comprehensive case for the fundamental reform of business rates. This can be accessed here

    For further information please contact: David Martin, Head of Policy & External Affairs, david.martin@brc.org.uk

    British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

    Scottish Retail Consortium sets key priorities of the retail industry ahead of 2016 Scottish Parliament election

    LONDON, 2015-10-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, the Scottish Retail Consortium is launching the second of four policy papers setting out the key priorities of the retail industry for each of the political parties ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

    The retail industry has played a leading role in driving resource efficiency and helping to mitigate and adapt to the environmental challenges of climate change through a wide range of measures as set out in the publication including, reducing carbon emissions from stores by 30%, phasing out HFC refrigerants by the end of 2015 and reducing the proportion of waste sent to landfill to 7% with a view to reducing this to less than 1% by 2020.

    In order to build further on the progress already made by the industry, retailers have set out 8 key environmental priorities for each of the political parties ranging from reform of business rates to incentivise and support positive environmental and energy efficiency investment to supporting a harmonised local authority recycling collection scheme and making it easier to shift freight from road to rail.

    The industry has also outlined its opposition to the suggested new nation-wide deposit return scheme, which would disproportionately penalise the disadvantaged consumer, undermine existing kerbside recycling, increase carbon emissions through extra consumer journeys and retailer haulage operations and place significant costs on business.

    Commenting on the launch of the manifesto paper David Martin, Head of Policy & External Affairs said:

    “The retail industry has a massive footprint and direct involvement in communities right across Scotland. With this comes a responsibility to operate in a sustainable way that ensures retailers can continue to serve those communities in the most efficient way possible.

    “We are therefore delighted to be launching this paper which establishes the retail industry in Scotland amongst the most climate-conscious industries and as a true global leader in reducing the environmental impacts of both their own direct operations and supporting change right along the supply chain.

    “We hope that each of the political parties will consider and support in their manifestos each of the policy priorities we have outlined and which are crucial in supporting the retail industry to go even further in creating a better retailing climate.”

    Ends

    Notes to editors:
    1. The paper which summarises key achievements of the retail industry and sets out 8 key policy priorities can be accessed here

    For media enquiries please contact David Martin, Head of Policy & External Affairs, on 07880 039 743 or email david.martin@brc.org.uk

    British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

    Scottish Retail Consortium responds to the Commission on Local Tax Reform

    LONDON, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — The SRC has submitted a written response to the Commission on Local Tax Reform. The SRC is ‘open’ to council tax being replaced or reformed but wants to see any major changes or alternative system underpinned by support for consumer confidence and subject to a robust and convincing cost benefit analysis. The SRC submission also highlights how revenues from business rates have been picking up an ever large proportion of local authority budgets compared to receipts from council tax.

    Please find the written response downloadable on the right.

    For more information please contact David Lonsdale, Director of Scottish Retail Consortium, david.lonsdale@brc.org.uk 07801629088.

    British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
    020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.