23 May 2024, 07:55
By Furniture News Aug 14, 2013

Scottish sales outpace UK sales in July

In July, total Scottish sales increased by 4.0% compared with July 2012, when they had declined by 0.7%. Like-for-like sales increased by 1.4% on last July, when they had decreased by 2.2%. Taking account of shop price deflation at almost 0.5%, July total sales were up 4.4% in real terms.

July saw the best growth in total sales since April 2011 and the 3-month average continued to accelerate to 2.5% versus a 12-month average of 0.8%. Total non-food sales increased by 2.6% on a year earlier when they had decreased by 1.5%, their best performance since December 2009. Total sales growth outpaced that of the UK for the first time since March 2011.

Fiona Moriarty, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, says: “A double whammy of feel-good factors pushed Scottish sales growth into record-breaking territory in July. Sunshine and sporting successes boosted the public mood and willingness to spend further after a promising pick-up in June. This helped to deliver an excellent showing which tops the UK total for the first time since March 2011.

“Outdoor living products were stand-out performers in what was an impressive month. In the second warmest July on record, and non-food leapt up to its best result since December 2009.

“By way of contrast, it was a disappointing month for furniture and other homewares, as appetite for indoor living was diminished and many people prioritised putting their money towards updating their summer wardrobes, taking advantage of the good deals on offer, and enjoying the sunshine.

“It’s too early to tell whether what we’re seeing is a welcome but short-lived uplift or the beginnings of longer-lasting economic recovery. But this run of good growth, bringing the three month average to 2.5%, means things are certainly looking up for the time being.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, says: “Scottish retailers served up an ace in July with growth in sales outpacing the rest of the UK for the first time in more than two years.

“July was without doubt a good month on the Scottish High Street and, like the weather, was welcome and overdue. It is with cautious optimism that I look forward to the rest of the year. In the same way that Andy Murray would not anticipate an easy straight sets victory, our retailers will be fully focused on preparing for a five set battle to Christmas rather than basking in the glory of a break of serve in July!”

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