Scottish retail sales fell 0.6% on a like-for-like basis in November, the worst decline since May.

Total sales increased 2.8% as food sales growth fell sharply to 0.3% on a like-for-like basis, according to the SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor.

Non-food like-for-likes declined 1.4%.

Clothing and footwear was hit by the mild weather, with clothing experiencing its worst decline since May. Homewares and furniture also weakened, against very soft comparables.

Scotland continues to lag behind the UK as a whole, which experienced a 1.8% uplift in like-for-likes.

A Scottish Retail Consortium spokesman said: “These Scottish figures don’t look too good –- almost the same as last November and below the performance elsewhere in the UK – but they’re better than they seem.

“Sales growth figures south of the border are stronger because the comparison is with really dismal results there this time last year. In the run-up to Christmas 2008, Scottish customers were hit less severely by financial industry turmoil and the developing recession. That means Scottish retailing hasn’t as far to climb to recovery.

“Although price-cutting and the continuing slide in food price inflation are pushing growth figures down and a lot of people are still concerned about money and jobs, the mood is generally more confident than last year. Many retailers will be quietly hopeful of a better performance than they might have expected six months ago.”