Christmas sees first food sales growth in nine months

Christmas dinner

A strong Christmas trading period has helped sales of food in Scotland.

Total Food sales were +1.1% in December, compared to the previous year, when they had decreased 1.9%. While Christmas was clearly the major factor here, it stands out as being food’s best performance since November 2013, excluding Easter distortions.

It is the first time in nine months that there has been an increase in food sales, and highlights that supermarkets were less reliant on major loss-leading discounts over the period, while a relaxed approach to spending allowed consumers to treat themselves.

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, commented: “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.”