Stripping out food sales, like for like sales for July fell by 1.6%
SCOTTISH retail sales emerged from two months of decline to rise by 0.2 per cent in July.
However after stripping out food like for like sales - which don't include new store openings - fell by 1.6 per cent.
Clothing and footwear, homewares and big ticket items were all affected by the "weakness" of consumer spending.
Richard Dodd, the Scottish Retail Consortium's head of media, said: "What growth there was in July came from food and drink, partly due to better weather later in the month but also to the effect of inflation on top-line growth.
"Sales of non-food goods fell for the third consecutive month as consumers shunned non-essential buying.
"Scottish customers are more likely to be worried about their prospects than those in other parts of the UK and more reluctant to spend where they don't have to.
"With public sector job cuts likely to hit hard and unemployment forecast to rise this year and next, conditions on the high street are likely to remain tough in the run-up to Christmas."
David McCorquodale, head of retail in Scotland for accountancy firm KPMG, said: "Pay freezes for Scotlands workforce, coupled with inflation in energy bills, are clearly having a detrimental effect on consumer confidence as economic uncertainty reigns.
"This is evidenced in the continued struggle in the big-ticket item market but the relative strength in the value sector.
"Few retailers are particularly optimistic about the outlook, although many expect inflationary pressures to decrease in the latter part of the year."
Scottish government quarterly retail sales volume figures, published earlier this month, estimated retail sales in Scotland had grown by 1.8 per cent on an annualised basis compared to a UK average of 1.2 per cent.
The figure was based on a sales volume increase of 0.2 per cent in the second quarter, including the worst May performance in 10-years.
The Scottish government said the value of second quarter retail sales also grew by 0.8 per cent in Scotland and by 3.8 per cent annualised, compared to 0.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively for the rest of the UK.
Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to 4.4 per cent in July, up from 4.2 per cent in June, the 20th month in a row inflation has been above the Bank of England's two per cent target.