The value of Scottish retail sales fell 0.3 percent in the final quarter of 2015, and by 0.9 percent annually, according to the latest Retail Sales Index for Scotland.

This is in contrast to the value of retail sales in Great Britain increasing by 0.1 percent in volume during the fourth quarter of 2015, and by 0.1 percent annually.

In terms of volume retail sales, Scotland grew by 0.6 percent on the previous quarter, however, on an annual basis sales were up 2.2 percent year-on-year.

Sales volume across Great Britain increased 1.1 percent during the last quarter of the year and climbed 3.7 percent when compared with the same period in 2014.

Sales volume at large retail businesses, those with at least 250 employees, accounted for around 70 percent of retail industry sales, increasing by 0.1 percent during 2015 Q4 compared to the previous quarter. Small and medium retailers, accounted for the remaining 30 percent of sales and saw an increase in sales volume of 2.2 percent.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Retail sales figures in Scotland have consistently been at a low ebb over the past few years, with retailers having to work ever harder to maintain, let alone grow, sales at a time of profound structural, economic and regulatory change for the industry.

“Responding positively to these changes and becoming more productive will require retailers to invest in new technology, a higher-skilled workforce, revamped warehouses and logistics capabilities. That is all the more challenging against a backdrop in which retail sales are weak, shop prices are falling and a seemingly relentless rise in government-imposed tax and regulatory costs. Indeed, the cumulative burden of government-imposed cost increases has become an acute issue for retailers.”


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