SRC Comment on Q2 2018 Scottish Government Retail Sales Index Publication

 

The Scottish Government’s Retail Sales Index (RSI) published today reveals that the value of retail sales edged up by 0.5% in the second quarter of 2018. This is the sixth consecutive quarter of growth in the value of retail sales according to the RSI, and a small improvement on the 0.3% increase seen in Q1.

Commenting on the figures, Ewan MacDonald-Russell, SRC Head of Policy, said: 

“Scottish retail sales continue to show low but sustained growth in 2018. The rise in the value of retail sales is valuable as a counterpoint to some of the gloom surrounding the industry – this is still an industry in growth. Nonetheless, it’s a little disappointing to only marginally beat the first quarter of 2018; a period which saw very wintry weather. Furthermore, it’s crucial to recognise that the UK as a whole outperformed Scotland over this period, a trend which has been evident for some time now.

“The reality is retailers are under enormous pressure right now from a combination of a sluggish Scottish economy, increased costs for consumers, and the ever-increasing burden of government policy. In particular; when Scottish sales are trailing the rest of the UK, it seems unreasonable the Scottish Government hasn’t accelerated the timetable for returning the Large Business Supplement to parity with the UK. That combination of a higher business rate for larger properties combined with lower sales makes running a profitable high street store ever more difficult. If the Government want to help retailers at a challenging time of transition, that’s the obvious place to start.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

All Media Enquiries to Ewan MacDonald-Russell, SRC Head of Policy and External Affairs: 07880039743 / ewan.macdonald-russell@brc.org.uk

The Full tables can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/PubRSI/RSIS2018Q2

Please note the SRC comment on the Value of retail sales, not the Volume of Sales.