Christmas shopping got off to ‘miserable’ start in Scotland as a results of storms and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, new data reveals.
The SRC SRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor showed a 2.3% year-on-year decline in retail sales in October once adjusted for inflation, which represented the fourth consecutive month of decline.
In addition, the data shows growth in grocery sales reduced, but sales were still up 7.5% year-on-year.
Sales of cold and flu remedies were up during wet weather, the data reveals.
Total sales increased by 2.9% year-on-year in October. However, when ajusted for inflation, the year-on-year decline was 2.3%.
David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “It was a miserable start to retail’s golden quarter. The significant weakening was the poorest monthly performance since July and a fourth consecutive month of real terms decline in the value of retail sales.”
He added: “Hopefully, the downturn in sales is only temporary. That said, it may continue for a little while yet as indications are that households are delaying Christmas-related spending in the hope of grabbing a bargain during Black Friday discounting.”
Paul Martin, Partner at UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “The upcoming Christmas season poses challenges for retailers as they compete for a shrinking share of consumer spending through promotions, further squeezing already tight margins.
“Anticipated lower spending levels make this Christmas season potentially the most challenging since before the pandemic.”