The Christmas period is a vitally important time for retailers and we would have hoped that November sales would be more buoyant, providing a better springboard into December.
However, these figures are a reminder of the squeeze household budgets all across Scotland are experiencing with consumer confidence in Scotland continuing to lag behind the rest of the UK.
They should also be considered amongst the wider pressures facing retailers, which like households, are not immune from the dual pressure of contracting incomes and rising overhead costs.
That is why it was so disappointing that the Scottish Government missed their opportunity to help retailers during their recent announcement to proceed with a hike in business rates of 5.6% next April. This is an extra burden the sector could well do without.