Retail sales in Scotland failed to grow when adjusted for inflation last month, according to new figures.
Data showed sales increased across the country by 4.4% compared with July 2021, when they had grown 7.4%.
However, when inflation was taken into account, that fell to 0%, which experts apportioned to the skyrocketing cost of living.
Total food sales increased by 5.3% versus July 2021, when they had increased by 1.8%, while non-food purchases rose by 3.7% compared to 12.1% the previous year following the emergence from the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC)-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor figures were released on Wednesday.
SRC deputy head Ewan MacDonald-Russell said: “In real terms, Scottish retail sales flatlined in August as a modest rise in the value of sales was wiped out by the impact of record rising inflation.
“Food sales rose by 5.3% as shoppers increased their grocery budgets – but that hides the reality that customers’ pounds are buying fewer products.
“Retailers did see shoppers changing their food shopping to purchase more outdoor food to take advantage of the sunshine – but that was instead of other purchases.”
He added: “It was a similar story for high street retailers. Whilst summer clothing and items sold well, that was very much at the expense of other items. It appears customers are laser-focused on what they need at the moment when purchasing.”