Worst January on record for Scottish retail sales

Total retail sales in Scotland decreased by 27.9% year-on-year in January – the worst performance since last April.

The ‘stay at home’ order delivered on 5 January was the primary catalyst for this collapse, as online – either for home delivery or click and collect – was the only avenue available to consumers, with all stores deemed non-essential closed for the rest of the month in all but the outer islands of Scotland.

The latest Scottish Retail consortium (SRC) and KPMG figures showed that total non-food sales fell by 54.8% in January compared to January 2020.

Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales, total non-food sales were down by 26.4% year-on-year.

However, total food sales were up 4.3% – above the three-month and 12-month average growth of 4%.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs at the SRC, admitted that there was little positive to report, with the

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