|Buchanan Galleries, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow|
With some of the poorest areas in the UK, high unemployment, and large public sector cuts it's not been an easy year for retailers in Scotland as consumer confidence flags. Scotland has the largest public sector employment by population than anywhere else in the UK and facing tough cuts, this seems to be partly to blame. People are just not spending. The last couple of years has seen Scottish retail perform less well that the UK as a whole.
Things have picked up in October with sales up by 1.1% on the same period last year for the UK however it's a different story in Scotland with retail sales down by 2.8% according to the SRC.
Fiona Moriarty, director of the SRC, said: "This really wasn't the result retailers wanted. September's modest sales boost offered some cause for cautious optimism, but continuing concerns about the economy led many customers to batten down the hatches again in October."
It's not a good sign for Christmas trading and quite rightly the SRC and Scottish retailers are worried it is an indication of poor retail sales to come for the Christmas trading period. We do a lot of installations in Scotland for large chains who can carry regional slumps in sales, but the independent shops will be suffering the most. Let's hope the celebrations today raise the spirits and revive the Christmas shopping season for Scotland.
Happy St. Andrew's Day!
St. Andrews Day History & Tradition:
St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland - his day is celebrated on the 30th November in Scotland and has been an official bank holiday since 2007. It is an official flag day, flying the Scottish flag know as the Saltaire.
The day is celebrated by all things Scottish - lots of food (haggis), music (bagpipes), dancing and concerts (ceilidhs), and parades, fireworks and other various activities which happen all week in the run up to St. Andrews day, as well as church services in honour of St. Andrew.