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.

    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: total Scottish retail sales decreased by 2.3% in January 2015 compared with January 2014

    LONDON, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — In January 2015, total Scottish sales decreased by 2.3% compared with January 2014, when they had increased by 4.3%. Like-for-like sales decreased by 3.1% on last January, when they had increased by 2.5%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, total Scottish sales decreased by 1.0%.

    Total Food sales were 1.4% down on January 2014, when they had increased 1.0%. This is the best Food performance since June 2014.Total Non-Food sales were 3.0% down on the previous year when they had increased 7.0%. Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales decreased by 1.1%.

    Three-month average total Non-Food sales declined 0.2% (online adjusted) in Scotland against a 2.7% rise in the UK. The gap between Scotland and the UK three-month average total growth was -2.9 in January.

    David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The total value of Scottish retail sales slipped back last month, however this needs to be seen in the context of a bumper performance in the corresponding period last year.

    “While sales of food edged down, it was nonetheless the best performing category – for the first time in four months – and recorded its best performance since last June. Non-food related sales eased back after a stellar performance in the same period in 2014, making for a pretty flat past quarter in the category once inflation is taken into account.

    “Looking forward, retailers will be heartened by the Bank of England’s predictions of continued low inflation being outstripped by average pay rises. The Chancellor should seek to bolster this in his Budget next month with policies which stimulate retailers to invest and which boost disposable incomes such as reducing income taxes on low earners.”

    David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “2015 got off to a difficult start for Scottish retailers ‎as sales shrank by more than two per cent against last year. Whilst the decline may be partly explained by more inclement weather this year and January being a strong month for sales last year, it is clear that the considerable saving felt by consumers in petrol and fuel bills is not finding its way to the High Street’s tills.

    “‎The grocery sector was the best performer in Scotland: while sales are still declining there is evidence that the rate of decline has reversed. It may be some time till we herald growth again in this competitive market, which is also buffeted by price deflation, but the grocers will take heart that the worst may be in the past.

    “With the gap widening ‎between the non-food sales decline when compared with the growth for the whole of the UK, Scottish retailers will be hoping for wage rate inflation to drive North before too long. With three more months of electoral campaigns ahead, retailers will wish to see some resolution to political uncertainty feed into consumer confidence.”

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