Sales of clothing and footwear showed some improvement, the SRC said
Scotland has seen the lowest growth in August shop sales for three years, it has emerged.
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said like-for-like sales rose 0.7% last month compared with the previous year - the lowest growth since August 2005.
But retail experts said the Scottish figures were not as gloomy as the UK as a whole, where like-for-like sales fell 1% below their August 2007 level.
The SRC said nearly all of August's growth was in the food sector.
Like-for-like food sales increased by 4.7%.
This, however, was still a slowdown from June 2008, when there was a 5.4% like-for-like rise.
Total sales in Scotland in August witnessed a 6.6% year-on-year increase.
The SRC said this took account of new stores opening and increased floor space in some premises.
Clothing and footwear also showed some improvement, it said, but the furniture sector had a tough month.
This was attributed to "consumer caution" and the slowdown in the housing market.
Homeware items and toiletries and cosmetics also fared badly.
The SRC said skincare and suncare products were hit particularly hard due to the "unseasonable weather".
SRC director Fiona Moriarty said: "These are the worst August sales figures since 2005.
"But overall, Scottish like-for-like sales were still up year-on-year compared with falls in other parts of the UK.
"This suggests Scottish customers remain marginally more confident and appear to be slightly less affected by rising household and energy costs than shoppers south of the border.
"Bright spots included return-to-school clothing and footwear but the reality for the sector as a whole is that sales rose by less than inflation and miserable weather slowed food sales growth, traditionally a strong summer performer."