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TMCNet:  Storms put the wind up shoppers and help dampen festive sales [Scotsman, The (Scotland)]

[January 15, 2014]

Storms put the wind up shoppers and help dampen festive sales [Scotsman, The (Scotland)]

(Scotsman, The (Scotland) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The gales and heavy rain over the festive period led to a fall in 2013 Christmas shop sales when compared with the previous year, new figures reveal today.Scottish retail sales decreased by 1.1 per cent in December last year when compared with December 2012.Although clothes and shoe sales did better than other categories, much of the success was driven by discounting, which will have an affect on profit margins. The position in the week of Christmas Day was cited as a reason for falling food sales.It meant that more shopping for Hogmanay celebrations will fall into the January trading period than last year. Beer and party food were among the stronger performing items.The SRC KPMG Retail Sales Monitor also looked at "like-for- like" sales, which excludes spending in stores that opened or closed in the intervening year. The measure is often used for comparison by analysts who want to discount the distorting affect of changes in shop floorspace. In December 2013, like-for-like sales were down by 2.9 per cent when compared with the previous year.Where possible, the Scottish figures did include online sales. But given that some large companies collate their online date on a company-wide basis, it was not possible to come up with a precise Scottish figure in all cases.Of the online figures that could be calculated, it was found that online and non-store sales added 2.4 percentage points to the total growth of all UK non-food sales in December 2013.Further analysis of the data found that there was good demand for electric and electronic devices, from tablets and video game consoles to TV sets and cooking appliances, many of which were purchased with discounts.Although clothes and shoe sales did better than other categories, much of the success was driven by discounting, which will have an affect on profit margins. The position in the week of Christmas Day was cited as a reason for falling food sales.It meant that more shopping for Hogmanay celebrations will fall into the January trading period than last year. Beer and party food were among the stronger performing items.The SRC KPMG Retail Sales Monitor also looked at "like-for-like" sales, which excludes spending in stores that opened or closed in the intervening year. The measure is often used for comparison by analysts who want to discount the distorting affect of changes in shop floorspace. In December 2013, like-for-like sales were down by 2.9 per cent when compared with the previous year.Where possible, the Scottish figures did include online sales. But given that some large companies collate their online date on a company-wide basis, it was not possible to come up with a precise Scottish figure in all cases.Of the online figures that could be calculated, it was found that online and non-store sales added 2.4 percentage points to the total growth of all UK non-food sales in December 2013.Further analysis of the data found that there was good demand for electric and electronic devices, from tablets and video game consoles to TV sets and cooking appliances, many of which were purchased with discounts.


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