By Daniel Hunter

Total sales in Scotland in June were 1.2% up on June 2011, when they had not grown at all. Like-for-like sales did not show any growth on last June, when they had fallen 1.8%, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).

Food sales rose above their year-earlier level on a like-for-like basis, but once food inflation is taken in to consideration volumes are likely to have fallen. An exceptionally wet June damaged the sales of seasonal products.

Clothing and footwear sales were also tough and suffered from the mild and wet weather. Big-ticket purchases continued to struggle and were often promotion-led, amid continued consumer caution.

Like-for-like and total retail sales were weaker than for the whole UK. This was the fifteenth month in a row that UK sales growth exceeded that in Scotland alone.

"June's prolonged wet weather has caused Scottish retail to stagnate," Richard Lim, Scottish Retail Consortium Economist, said.

"Consumers remain cautious about their personal finances and lower temperatures have cooled demand for summer fashions and outdoor leisure goods. With shops full of seasonal stock, retailers are hoping a possible Indian summer delivers some salvation.

"Food and drink retailers are faring the best in a weak market but when inflation is taken into account, volumes of sales are likely to have declined. There was a boost in the run up to the Jubilee celebrations as shoppers bought in party foods for the long weekend but it wasn't on the same scale as seen in our UK-wide statistics.

"This is the fifteenth month in a row that retail sales growth in the UK has outstripped Scotland, although the gap has narrowed. Retailers are discounting aggressively to encourage shoppers through their doors and to maintain the many thousands of jobs which depend upon the sector. Falling inflation offers some hope with signs that the squeeze on real disposable incomes are easing, but a fundamental revival in consumer spending may be some way off yet."

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