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Edinburgh’s Retail Figures Bucking The National Trend

Posted: 5th May 2015

Edinburgh council

For two months now Edinburgh’s retail spend has been bucking the Scottish and UK-wide national trends. Edinburgh’s retail sales were up three point three per cent in February 2015 compared to this month in 2014. This is higher than the Scottish average that fell one point four per cent on a year earlier and higher than sales in the UK as a whole that were up one point seven cent per cent.

In March, Edinburgh’s retail sales were up five point five per cent in March 2015 compared to this month in 2014. This is higher than the Scottish average that fell zero point seven per cent on a year earlier and slightly higher than sales in the UK as a whole that were up four point seven per cent. 

The figures have been published in Essential trends, available monthly from Essential Edinburgh.

Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said: “This is fantastic news and further evidence of Edinburgh’s resilient economy. I believe the success is also partly due to our partnership working with Essential Edinburgh and Marketing Edinburgh in delivering the ‘This is Edinburgh Campaign’ to attract residents and visitors back into the city centre. It has been extremely successful and when surveyed recently 66.8 per cent of people said they were more likely to come into the city centre then they were at the start of 2014.” 

John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh offers such a rich and diverse retail experience, it’s fantastic to see shoppers returning to the capital and enjoying its wide and diverse selection of local independent, designer and high street shops.  March was also the host month for the city’s inaugural Edinburgh Fashion Week. It was a tremendous success that attracted over 10,000 people to the opening weekend at our pop-up fashion hub at The Mound. To know the event and ‘This is Edinburgh’ has helped strengthen retail sales for businesses, is particularly rewarding and a core objective of the campaign.”    

Roddy Smith, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: The retail sales figures so far this year have shown strong growth each month compared to 2014, maintaining the upward trend from last year, strongly ahead of the Scottish averages since January and consistently higher than the UK averages. March’s figures are again very positive with 5.5% growth on March 2014; this is particularly encouraging following our first Edinburgh Fashion Week event during March. The increased sales are great news for our City Centre retailers and a trend that I hope will continue through the coming months. It is particularly encouraging that these figures are recorded out-with the traditional tourist season in Edinburgh, indicating that these positive figures have been driven by locals and residents – another indication of the success of our “This is Edinburgh” marketing campaign.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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