The UK as a whole has seen a 0.9% rise in sales compared to last year but worryingly, Scotland has seen a 2.4% drop in sales from last year. There are a number of factors which may have influenced the decline and left Scottish sales lower than the rest of the UK.
- Consumers may be reluctant to buy full price goods in the lead up to Black Friday, (particularly expensive electrical goods), as they know many items will be heavily discounted. The sale of non-food items has declined 1.8% since last year.
- October 2015 was the driest October in 12 years and this may be the reason clothes sales are down, with the shops selling heavy coats and warm winter boots before the weather dictates a need for them.
- Scotland exiting the Rugby World Cup is suggested to have affected food sales which are down 4.6% from last year.
Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, David Lonsdale stated,
‘This demonstrates the need for the government to support the retail industry, which accounts for over 250 000 jobs in Scotland and to resist any further increases in the tax or regulatory burden it faces.’
Alcohol sales have dropped up to 60% in Scottish pubs since the legal driving limit was lowered in December last year. The average decline in sales per Scottish licensed premises is 30% and those in the trade have felt the impact.
Chief Executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Paul Waterston, expressed his concerns and stated,
‘We have not heard of anyone that has not been affected.’
The licensed trade association have already reported 2-3 pubs in Britain have closed weekly since the law changed and there are serious concerns mass pub closures will sweep across Scotland as a result of these damaging statistics.
Pub chain Greene King announced a 2% rise in sales in pubs across England and Wales but reported there was no increase in sales in Scotland. Beacon, the purchasing business that supplies to the UK licencing trade considered the statistics gathered from hotels, bars, restaurants and golf clubs and determined there were drops in trade ranging from 10-60% across the venues.
This is not the first time Trust Deed Scotland has reported Scottish economic recovery lagging behind the UK as a whole. In October it was reported that Scotland has a higher rate of unemployment than the rest of the UK.
The Scottish housing market has also been affected as a result of job losses with demand for affordable housing exceeding the supply.
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