High street sales saw their worst fall for 13 years in April, according to a retail trade body.
Total sales were 4.1% down on the same month last year and like-for-like sales, which strip out factors such as new store openings, were 5.2% lower.
The Scottish Retail Consortium said that on both measures, the decline was the worst since its survey began in 1999.
Total food sales in April were down 0.7% and non-food sales were down 7.3% compared with 2011, according to the latest Scottish Retail Consortium-KPMG retail sales monitor.
Like-for-like food sales were 2.6% lower than in April 2011 and non-food sales dropped 7.6%.
Consortium director Ian Shearer said "beleaguered" family budgets and the cold, wet weather were partly to blame for the fall, but pointed out that the stark difference between the two years' sales should be seen in the context of the late Easter and Royal Wedding in 2011.
Mr Shearer said: "Cold, wet weather across much of Scotland left April a washout for many retailers. Our fears that the previous month's healthy sales were just spending being brought forward by good weather then, rather than any permanent revival in consumer confidence, have proved to be true."
He said: "It remains a worrying picture, confirmed by big drops in footfall and continuing retail administrations. Times are tough for Scottish customers and retailers but may not be quite as bad as the headline figures suggest.
"Statistically, April recorded the biggest year-on-year sales falls since this monitor began in 1999. Beleaguered household budgets and the coldest April since 1998 were part of the cause, but last year's later Easter and extra bank holiday mean the annual comparison is with strongly positive growth in April 2011, making the figures worse than they might otherwise be.
"Even so, retailers are hoping a feelgood factor from this summer's events and warmer temperatures come to their aid soon."
April's weather, with heavy rain and some snow, saw shoppers return to buying warming, comforting foods such as soups and meat for stews. The pressure on family budgets also meant many continued to shop carefully, seeking out special offers.
There was a substantial decline in clothing sales, with womenswear and children's wear hit harder than men's clothing.
Sales of furniture and floor-coverings remained poor, with the weather hitting sales of garden furniture. Homewares showed some improvement as shoppers turned their attention to indoors, and computers continued to sell well.
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