18/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 07:55

Scottish retailers highlight sector's 'importance'

Category: Scotland

Published: 11th Jan 2012 01:23:53

Scottish retailers have launched a report which seeks to highlight the sector's increasing importance to the economy in Scotland.

The Scottish Retail Consortium claimed competition in the sector had led to Scotland's consumers enjoying some of the cheapest prices in Europe.

According to the report, retail remains Scotland's largest private sector employer - supporting 240,000 jobs.

The SRC said about 10% of Scottish businesses were shops.

This figure was slightly higher than the average for the UK as a whole.

The consortium's statistics claimed that retail sales of Scottish food and drink brands across Scotland, England and Wales had increased by 32% since 2007.

It put their combined value in 2011 at £1.85bn.

The SRC also suggested that competition between retailers meant UK consumers enjoyed prices which were about 5% lower than the rest of the Eurozone area.

Scottish Retail Consortium chairman Ken MacKenzie said: "With some of the most challenging market conditions for years, Scottish retailing is at a crossroads yet remains one of our most innovative and enterprising sectors.

"Our new report shows the benefits of a vibrant retail sector are felt by Scottish producers and the tourist trade, among many other business services.

"Even with rising input costs, competition among retailers keeps the price of a basket of goods below the EU average, delivering benefits both for hard-pressed consumers and the rest of the economy."

The consortium called for government to protect the sector and to hold back increasing costs, including taxes.

The Scottish government's health levy on bigger retailers which sell alcohol and tobacco is due to come into force in April.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "The public health supplement will affect only a small number of the very largest retailers in Scotland - approximately 240 stores, which represents 0.1% of business premises.

"We have consulted with businesses and retailers on our plans as part of the draft budget and this will continue as we take plans forward.

"It is misleading to speculate how our plans, which will be used towards preventative spend measures, will affect retailers."

Ministers are expected to give further details of the public health levy in the coming weeks.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Scottish retailers highlight sector's 'importance' [Online] (Updated 11th Jan 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/216761/Scottish-retailers-highlight-sectors-importance [Accessed 18th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Martin Freeman warms up for Richard III by freezing in Fargo

    Actor Martin Freeman, best known for The Office and Sherlock, talks to BBC News about his chilly new role in a TV version of Fargo and preparing to play Richard III in London's West End.
  • Leukaemia: Cardiff University breakthrough in disease treatment

    Scientists at Cardiff University say they have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of the most common form of leukaemia.
  • Tech tools make selling to the world child's play

    How do you tell the world about your remote-controlled flying fish toys?
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Ballet and business: A perfect match

    Thousands of people are expected to flock to Scottish Ballet's production of Romeo and Juliet when it starts its run at the King's Theatre in Glasgow on Saturday.
  • Barnes & Noble chairman trims stake to 20% by selling shares

    Barnes & Noble's chairman has trimmed his stake in the bookstore to 20%, by selling shares worth $64m (£38m).