- Published on Monday, 16 January 2012 09:37
- Published on Monday, 19 December 2011 18:12
- Published on Friday, 16 December 2011 10:50
It is our view that it would be premature to state unequivocally whether the 2010 Alcohol Act had reduced alcohol consumption in Scotland.
Having talked to our members we do not recognise the drop in alcohol sales to the magnitude suggested by the Nielsen figures reported in The Grocer.
That is not to say that sales aren’t suffering right now. This is an exceptionally difficult time for retailers, particularly in Scotland where consumer confidence and sales are lagging behind the rest of the UK.
Even the most cursory glance at the latest retail figures demonstrates how difficult the retailing environment in Scotland is and how exceptionally careful consumers are being with their money.
What the figures don’t report is whether there has been any corresponding increase in online sales and upon whose shoulders any reported decline in consumption rests.
My fear, as with minimum pricing, is that when government interferes with price it is the low and moderate drinkers which are penalised the most.
- Published on Friday, 16 December 2011 10:49
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.
- Published on Friday, 09 December 2011 20:55
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance confirmed yesterday that the 2012-13 business rates poundage will be 45p meaning a 5.6% increase next April in business rates.
Commenting on the announcement SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“We welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to allow businesses to spread the 5.6% increase over three years but this sugar coating doesn’t disguise the fact that this is a bitter pill to swallow.
“September’s Retail Price Index was anomalously high and forecasts predict that inflation will be closer to 3% next April.
“Scottish retailers, like households, are not immune from the dual pressures of contracting incomes and rising overhead costs and the situation isn’t made any easier by a continuous raft of Government-imposed regulations which has cost the sector dear in recent years.
“This is clearly a missed opportunity for the Scottish Government which has on numerous occasions called on HM Government to give it the power to cut corporation tax, yet refuses to use an economic lever it does have to make businesses more competitive.
“The small business bonus scheme, whilst welcome, will be little succour for a great many of our members.”
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