DIY sales slump in Scotland

Published:  19 March, 2010

EDINBURGH: The homewares and DIY sector suffered another difficult month in Scotland as the freezing temperatures meant many people only shopped for essentials. 

Data in the latest SRS KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor showed this was the worst February performance since the survey began in 1999.

Richard Dodd, of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said the 'grim' drop in sales of 1.1% compared to the same time the previous year was caused by a combination of bad weather and customer caution.

Sales of good others than food were down 2.6% when compared to February 2009, while food sales increased 0.5% over the same period.

Continuing cold and snow denied retailers the bounce-back that was achieved in other parts of the UK.

David McCorquodale, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, said like-for-like sales in the UK had seen 'positive growth' in February.

He added that the fall north of the border was "perhaps the first sign of a noticeable and concerning trend in the Scottish marketplace".

The number of apprentices in the building trade could fall by more than half this year, construction industry bosses have warned.

A Scottish Building Federation survey found that of those companies who normally take on apprentices, 49% predicted they would not be able to offer any such places in 2010.

The poll, which covered the first quarter of 2010, also found that confidence in the construction sector had fallen for the first time since the end of 2008. 

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