Food and drink retailers in Scotland are staying optimistic for the rest of the year despite the Brexit cloud of uncertainty that is hanging over the UK.
The Scottish Licensed Trade Association released its half-year On-trade Market Review, sponsored by KPMG UK, containing key insights on Scotland's food and drink sector.
Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the SLTA, said: "In our Christmas survey, 17 per cent of respondents said that Brexit had negatively impacted upon them, and this number has increased to 28 per cent.
"Looking forward, however, retailers are overall optimistic about their sector, with 72 per cent anticipating growth or stability in the rest of 2019, with growth led by Scottish gin, online bookings and craft beers.''
The report is the latest annual review from the SLTA and provides insights on food and drink performance directly from frontline retailers across city centre and rural locations.
Colin added: "Up against a buoyant market in 2018, fuelled by the World Cup and a hot summer, there has been a slight slowdown in the market, but retailers remain optimistic for the rest of 2019. Overall, 56 per cent of outlets surveyed reported their business as growing or stable, with local food and drink and online bookings being key drivers of the market.
"We are also delighted to see retailers evolve to meet emerging market trends, with 15 per cent of outlets seeing an increase in sales from the Women's World Cup."
Alistair McAlinden, head of hospitality and leisure at KPMG LLP in Scotland, the survey's sponsor, added: "Whilst Brexit uncertainty persists, and regulation remains a key challenge, it is more crucial than ever for operators to proactively and regularly review contingency plans, including taking appropriate advice at an early stage. Focus and caution must be borne in mind as the changing winds of autumn approach."