Retail news round-up on November 18, 2015: Living wage to hit hard retail and hospitality sector and disappointing October Scottish retail sales.

Living wage policy to affect over half of all employers

The introduction of the compulsory National Living Wage in 2016 by the government is set to hamper 54% of employers’ wage bills, a survey had found.

About 15% of these employers are considering scaling back their workforces through redundancies or slower recruitment in an attempt to fight the cost of implications of the policy.

Nearly one in 10 said they would hold back basic pay rises for the rest of the workforce, according to the study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Resolution Foundation.

The policy will hit hard those in the retail and hospitality sector.

Total sales in Scotland down 2.4% in October

Scottish retail sales in October plunged 2.4% on the previous year, with high street stores reporting a disappointing figures.

Like-for-like-sales fell 2.8%, according to SRC/KPMG Scottish Retails Sales Monitor.

Clothing sales were driven down by mild autumn weather, with electrical goods shoppers waiting for sales.

Total food sales tumbled 3.2% when compared to October last year, with stores unable to fully benefit from the Rugby World Cup after Scotland went out of the tournament.

With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, some Scots opted for guising rather than shopping, the SRC suggested.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said the figures were “a sobering reminder of the frailty of the economic recovery”.