SRC-KPMG: Scottish retail sales decreased by 0.2% in 2015 compared with December 2014

  • In December 2015, total Scottish sales decreased by 0.2% compared with December 2014, when they had declined by 1.8%. This is the best performance since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions. Like-for-like sales decreased by 0.4% on last December, when they had decreased by 2.6%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI), total Scottish sales increased by 1.8%. The total year-on-year sales performance peaked significantly in the week containing Christmas day, illustrative of the impact of demand during the festive period.
  • Total Food sales were 1.1% up on December 2014, when they had decreased 1.9%, their best performance since November 2013, excluding Easter distortions. Adjusted for the effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales increased by 1.8% over a decline of 0.5% in December 2014, their second best performance of 2015.
  • Three-month average total Non-Food sales growth was 0.7% (online adjusted) in Scotland, the third highest this year, against a growth of 1.5% in the UK, representing a 2.0 percentage point widening of the gap seen in November.

LONDON, UK, 2016-Jan-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said:“This positive set of results for December provided a final flourish to what was otherwise a tepid 2015 as a whole for retail sales in Scotland. Once adjusted for falling shop prices total retail sales increased by a commendable 1.8 per cent last month, the best performance in almost two years. This was largely driven by purchases of festive food and drink in the run up to Christmas, although non-food categories continued to gather momentum most notably online.

“Grocery sales recorded their best monthly performance in over two years, while non-food categories such as home accessories, electrical goods and beauty products also did better. Indeed ‘other non-food’ was the best performing category during the whole of 2015, driven in part by improvements in the housing market. By contrast clothing and footwear sales in December returned its weakest performance for four months.

“Retail continues to be an industry in transition, with retailers navigating profound changes in shopping habits at the same time as falling shop prices and increasing government-imposed costs. It is far too early to say whether this uptick in December heralds the start of a more sustained recovery in the growth of total retail sales. It does however reinforce the need for the political parties vying to become the next devolved government to prioritise policies which support consumer confidence, including greater certainty over the future direction of travel on council tax reform and the new Scottish income tax, and which tackle the soaring cumulative burden of government-influenced costs which can too often weigh down retailers investment plans.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “A grocery-led festive season provided a year-end boost for Scotland’s rain-swept high streets to provide cheer and optimism for the year ahead. After months in the doldrums, the food and drink sector provided the surprise package over Christmas in Scotland, returning to growth as consumers loosened their belts and treated themselves to a festive feast.

“Heavy rain and flooding meant shoppers took to the keyboard rather than the high street and unseasonably warm weather led to the fashion sector suffering a bit of a wash out, ending the year on a wave of discounts and online returns. Spending on home and electricals benefitted with the overhang from Black Friday and a welcome post-Christmas boost. However, the surprise winner in Scotland for the festive season was the beleaguered grocery market, which delivered both product and price to provide some encouragement for the year ahead.

“With business rates and the implementation of the national living wage keeping a focus on the costs of running a retail business, it is imperative that the politicians in an election year allow consumers to feel confident and retailers to focus on product rather than red tape.”

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium

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

SRC-KPMG: Scottish retail sales decreased by 2.4% in Oct 2015 vs the same month last year

  • In October 2015, total Scottish sales decreased by 2.4% compared with October 2014, when they had declined by 1.2%. Like-for-like sales decreased by 2.8% on last October, when they had decreased by 2.7%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI), total Scottish sales decreased by 0.6%.
  • Total Food sales were 3.2% down on October 2014, when they had decreased 2.7%. Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales decreased by 0.3% over a rise of 2.1% in to October 2014. The October 2014 growth is the fastest growth over the last 13 months.
  • Three-month average total Non-Food sales growth was 0.5% (online adjusted) in Scotland against a growth of 2.9% in the UK, a 0.3 percentage point narrowing of the gap seen in September.

LONDON, 2015-11-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “This rather pallid set of results paints a disappointing October overall for Scotland’s retailers, with total retail sales edging down again once falling shop prices are taken into account.

“Grocery sales were sluggish, albeit marginally ahead of the average over the past three months. Retail sales of non-food items nudged down a touch even when adjusted to include the contribution of online. Indeed the only category to report an increase was clothing and footwear, and only once the impact of internet sales was taken into account. Halloween related items however such as kids fancy dress clothing did prove popular.

“It could be that shoppers are simply holding out for even better deals in the run up to Christmas, perhaps with an eye towards potential online discounting at the end of this month, despite the fact that shop prices are already at record lows.

“With the spotlight on the Autumn Statement and the Scottish Budget over the next few weeks, retailers will be hoping for measures which put money in peoples’ pockets and which encourage them to invest and grow.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “Sluggish Scottish sales serve a sobering reminder of the frailty of the economic recovery when reflected in the discretionary spending of households. There is no doubt the declines in Scottish retail sales in October, when measured against a relatively weak month last year, are disappointing for retailers when set against mainly dry weather and temperatures only marginally warmer than average.

“It wasn’t cold enough for coats or boots, and with consumers perhaps waiting for heavy promotions, retailers were left pushing themed products for Halloween.

“The next few weeks are vital for retailers and, with the tactics around Black Friday and the run up to Christmas beginning to unfold, it will be interesting to see how much margin needs given up to drive sales volumes.”

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

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium

Scottish retail sales increased by 0.2% in February 2015, the best growth since November, SRC-KPMG

LONDON, 2015-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — In February 2015, total Scottish sales decreased by 1.4% compared with February 2014, when they had decreased by 1.0%. Like-for-like sales decreased by 2.3% on last February, when they had decreased by 2.5%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, total Scottish sales increased by 0.2%, the best growth since November.

Total Food sales were 2.6% down on January 2014, when they had decreased 1.3%. Total Non-Food sales were 0.5% down on the previous year when they had decreased 0.7%. This is the best Non-Food performance since October 2014. Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales increased by 0.5%, its best performance since November 2014.

Three-month average total Non-Food sales declined 0.4% (online adjusted) in Scotland against a growth of 2.2% in the UK, a narrowing of the gap seen in January.

David Martin, Head of Policy and External Affairs at SRC, said: “Whilst total Scottish sales increased – after adjusting for inflation – by an almost imperceptible 0.2% in February it was, yet again, another month of two halves. Non-food sales drove all of the growth in February and had their best online adjusted performance since November. Clothing and Footwear performed well for those retailers whose new spring ranges coincided with milder weather at the start of the month. Cupid was also busy and therefore so were many retailers as Valentine’s Day drove strong sales of beauty products, jewellery and food related gifts.

“Food sales, however, continued to struggle as any discernible recovery in household incomes, aided by lower interest rates and falling fuel prices, did little to translate into growth at shop tills. A range of factors are at play, with additional disposable income being directed at either Non-Food spending or towards other leisure pursuits such as dinning out, whilst fierce competition between the large multiple grocery retailers continues to impact sales values. Nevertheless, whilst conditions remain highly challenging for grocery retailers, it is a great time to be a consumer with the cost of groceries declining at an unprecedented rate.

“With the Chancellor unveiling his Budget today, retailers will be looking closely for policies which make it easier and less expensive for retailers to invest and which boost the spending power of households, particularly for those on lower incomes.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “Deflation continues to dampen Scottish sales performance as the sluggish start to the year continued. The impact of falling prices again had a negative effect on total Scottish sales values which fell by 1.4% last month when compared with February 2014. Adjusted for deflation, total Scottish sales increased by only 0.2%, hinting that consumers are either keeping any savings made in energy and commodities or spending it elsewhere.

“Food retailers suffered most with total sales decline falling back to levels not seen since October last year, reflecting a setback on the long hard road to recovery in this sector. Health and Beauty was a winner in February as St Valentine launched Cupid’s arrow, and household appliance sales benefited from innovative new product launches. Fashion retailers had a mixed month with discount-led promotions driving sales at the expense of margin.

“Consumers are the beneficiaries of a deflation environment and are well informed of alternative ways to deploy their savings. Scottish retailers will have to look beyond simply discounting in order to drive Spring promotions and engage profitably with customers in the lead up to Easter.”

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