SCOTLAND’S shopkeepers saw a second successive month in which retail sales nudged down in February, though food and drink sales were on the up.
The Scottish Retail Consortium – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor found that total Scottish sales declined by 1.9% compared with February 2016, when they had declined by 0.7%.
However, total food sales rose 1.3% versus February 2016, when they decreased by 1.1%.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “In recent months we’ve seen a polarisation in the performance of food and non-food categories; which continued in February. Food sales continued to edge up, helped by good sales of wine and chocolates for St Valentine’s Day as well as stronger demand for grocers’ meal deals; which perhaps hints at less eating out during the period as consumers reined in spending.
“These figures suggest Scottish consumers are maybe beginning to tighten their belts and acknowledge the strain from rising overall inflation and moderating wage growth.”