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A sluggish autumn performance

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Black Friday queues

SCOTTISH retailers had a bit of a struggle in October, the latest figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium have revealed, with sales decreasing by 1% on a like-for-like basis, compared to a 0.6% increase in October 2016.

The new figures, produced for SRC by KPMG, found total sales in Scotland down 0.8%, compared to October 2016. However, total food sales were up 4.9% on the same period, suggesting inflation is still applying some upwards pressure to grocery prices.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs, said: “The gap between grocery and non-food sales continues to grow. Food sales are still relatively strong, although still being partially driven by inflation. However, on the high street there will be less optimism, with clothing and electrical lines struggling in October.

“November will be a crucial month for those high street retailers, with promotions around Black Friday likely to be integral to sales success for some in the crucial Christmas shopping period. Those retailers will face a tough act balancing giving customers the best deals to stimulate sales whilst not forfeiting margins already eroded by higher costs.”

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