Sales of food in Scotland during December were solid, while off licences reported a difficult month due to aggressive discounting by competitors, according to the latest snapshot from the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Total food sales rose 5.5% up 1.7% on November’s figures and increased 3.9% on a like-for-like basis, 2.1% ahead of last month.

C-stores enjoyed a strong month for sales of soft drinks, confectionery, crisps, snacks and chilled foods, but faced stiff competition in the drinks market.

The SRC said total like-for-like sales rose 3% in December, the best performance since August, and ahead of 2.6% growth in November.

SRC director Fiona Moriarty said Scotland’s shoppers were determined to celebrate Christmas and Hogmanay “whatever the shape of the economy”.