Discounted Winter clothes boosts Scotland’s February retail sales

Winter sale shoppers purchasing outdoor clothing helped to boost sales figures in Scotland this February, a report has revealed.

There was also an increase in food sales, with purchases of both groceries and drinks going up, which is partly linked to Valentine’s Day.

According to a report by the Scottish Retail Consortium, February’s total sales were up 0.7% compared to the same time last year.

Consumer’s were convinced by discounts to buy Winter clothes, according to the SRC | Image Credit: Scottish Grocer

Food sales increased by 3.5%, whereas non-food sales decreased by 1.6%.

These figures range from the end of January until 24 February, just before the ‘Beast from the East’ left shops with bare shelves.

David Lonsdale, SRC Director, said that although the increase was largely driven by food purchases, discount clothing and footwear convinced many shoppers to spend their money on winter and outdoor wear.

He said:

“This was once again driven by the food category, aided in part by grocery and drink sales associated with St Valentine’s Day, and by better sales of clothing and footwear spurred on by discounting of winter and outdoor wear.

“The polarisation between food and non-food retail sales was less marked than before, with the latter recording a much shallower rate of decline than over recent months.”

The director also stated that it is too soon to say whether “inflationary pressures” will effect Scottish shoppers over the next few months.

He added:

“Scotland’s shoppers face a number of headwinds over the coming months which may prove hard to shrug off and which could well crimp consumer spending, notably higher council and income taxes and with overall inflation continuing to outstrip the growth in wages.”

Total sales increased by 0.7% since this time last year | Image Credit: Scottish Retail Consortium

Craig Cavin, Head of Retail in Scotland at KPMG, believes that retailers in Scotland will be “cautiously optimistic” of these figures, stating:

“Indeed, total growth of 0.7 per cent in February is an accomplishment in the current retail environment.

“Performance in non-food sales was disappointing once again, as consumers continue to migrate online. This, teamed with rising costs for retailers, is continuing to put pressure on our high streets.

” Retailers will need to adapt and think of new ways to encourage spending over the next few months through focussing on a differentiated proposition and staying relevant to the consumer.”

The effects of the heavy snowfall on consumer’s purchases will be shown in next month’s report.

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