Fewer Scots are hitting the high street, with new figures showing a decline in the number of shoppers.
In the three months to July, the number of shoppers was down by 8.2% on the same time last year.
The drop in footfall is much higher than the 2.3% reduction experienced across the the UK as whole.
Richard Lim, an economist with the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), said: "Apart from a Christmas boost in December, footfall has now been down in Scotland for 12 months in a row."
According to the SRC/Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, only the Greater London area — where there was an 8.9% drop in footfall — had a larger reduction in shopper numbers than Scotland.
Meanwhile, both Northern Ireland and Wales had increased footfall, by 6.2% and 4% respectively.
While the proportion of empty stores in Scotland rose between April and July, the country still has a lower town centre vacancy rate than the UK as a whole.
Last month Scotland had a vacancy rate of 10.5% — meaning about one in 10 premises are standing empty.
The figure is up from 9% in April, but the vacancy rate across the UK is 11.4% and in Northern Ireland almost one in five shops are empty, with a rate of 18.5%.
Mr Lim said: "People are short of money, worried about jobs and not spending, which is hitting numbers of shoppers and successful shops.
"The fact that town centre shop vacancy rates are better than the UK average offers a bit of comfort but Scotland still has one in 10 premises standing empty."
He added that more families were cutting back spending as "this period of falling disposable incomes stretches out".
Mr Lim said: "Financial concerns are not going away and people who aren't going to spend are much less likely to go to shopping locations.
"Only when confidence returns will we see more customers out and retailers taking on some of those unused shops.
"These figures don't suggest that turning point is imminent."
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The Retail Sales Index, published earlier this month, shows that the retail sales performance over the year continues to show growth in Scotland, but with a small fall in the volume and value of retail sales in the second quarter of 2012.
"This Government and our enterprise agencies are working to maintain Scotland's position as the most supportive business environment in the UK through actions such as the Small Business Bonus Scheme and other reliefs, which provides zero or reduced business rates for 63% of retail premises in Scotland.
"The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies are working to strengthen the economy, with the powers we currently have, and our economic strategy is delivering results — Scotland has a consistently higher employment rate than the UK as a whole, and a stronger GDP performance than the UK over the past six months.
"With the full economic and financial powers of independence we could maximise Scotland's economic success and prosperity, and in the meantime we need the UK Government to adopt a Plan B — with increased capital investment at its heart — in order to boost growth and employment and create the conditions for sustained economic recovery."