Galloway retailers face tough times

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Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is warning that “there is no end in sight” for tough times on our region’s high streets, as the latest retail figures show a huge drop in footfall in Scottish shops.

The decline in footfall has been highlighted in a report from the British Retail Consortium. Comparing November 2011 to January 2012 with the same three months last year, there was a fall of 8.5% in the number of people shopping in Scotland. This large drop means that Scotland is the hardest hit part of the UK, and compares with a modest increase in footfall of 1.8% for the UK as a whole during the same period.

Mr Brown said: “This is paints a gloomy picture for high streets across Dumfries and Galloway and makes it clear that there is no end in sight to the tough trading conditions. The British Retail Consortium’s findings show that Scottish high streets are being hit harder than the rest of the UK.

“While footfall in shops has actually risen in the past three months across the UK as a whole, it has plummeted by 8.5% in Scotland. With local people’s incomes squeezed, people are less likely to spend money on the high street and are understandably worried about the future.

“This is particularly difficult from the small shops and businesses that Dumfries and Galloway relies upon because they aren’t able to offset poor trading here with better sales elsewhere in the UK.”