Food sales sharply down but retail monitor team says three-month average is best for more than a year.
SUCCESS in the grocery sector is currently measured by decline being less than it was, according to David McCorquodale, head of retail at accountants KPMG.
Total food sales for April were down 4.6% against April 2014. But that had much to do with the fact that we had an earlier Easter than in 2014.
He stressed that three-month average food sales to the end of April 2015 fell by only 1.2% in real terms, according to the latest findings from the Scottish Retail Consortium / KPMG Retail Sales Monitor – the best result since January 2014.
“With UK total food sales in positive territory throughout the whole of 2015, grocers will be looking to achieve real growth again in Scotland before too long,” McCorquodale said.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium noted that total retail sales (food and non-food) in Scotland dipped by 1% in April.
“This performance however needs to be seen in the context of solid growth in the comparable period last year, and also the fact that trading over the important Easter period fell within the previous month’s data,” he said.
He added that while pay rises are forecast to outstrip inflation, shoppers are nevertheless continuing to be cautious.
“This brings into sharp focus big upcoming decisions which will affect disposable incomes, notably the setting of the new Scottish rate of income tax and the proposed replacement of council tax,” he said.
“Greater certainty is needed.”