The high street enjoyed some of the best sales for two years in the run-up to Christmas, according to new figures.
Total sales for December increased 1.5% compared with the same month of 2011 while like-for-like sales, which do not include factors such as new store openings, rose 0.3%. It is the first time retail performance in Scotland has equalled that of the UK since January 2011.
Excluding Easter, retail chiefs said the rise is the strongest growth seen for two years. But when shop price inflation of 1.5% is taken into account, December's total sales figures are flat.
Total food sales for December were up 1.4% on the same month of 2011, the worst performance since July, show the figures in the latest Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) KPMG retail sales monitor.
In contrast, total non-food sales are the best since March 2011, with December figures showing a 1.5% increase on a year ago.
Fiona Moriarty, SRC director, said she hopes the figures signal "the beginning of a permanent turnaround" for Scotland's high streets. But David McCorquodale, head of retail for KPMG, said January is traditionally when people try to pay off debt which could make it a challenging month for stores.
Commenting on the figures, Ms Moriarty said: "Coming at the end of a relentlessly tough year for Scottish customers and retailers, this is a relatively good result.
"After a year of belt tightening that left Scottish retailing consistently underperforming the UK as a whole, it seems significant numbers of people decided to put their jobs and money worries on hold and spend."
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "This is positive news from the Scottish Retail Consortium for over the Christmas period.
"In these tough times we are maintaining Scotland's position as the most supportive business environment in the UK and our Small Business Bonus Scheme and other reliefs, provide zero or reduced business rates for 63% of shops in Scotland."