In 2003 Dutch retail trade turnover was 3 percent down on 2002. According to figures from Statistics Netherlands the non-food sector was accountable for the drop in sales. Roughly 60 percent of the total retail turnover is realised in the non-food sector. In 2003 non-food sales fell by almost 6 percent, whereas shops selling food, beverages and tobacco saw their turnover rise by 1.5 percent compared to the previous year.
In the first quarter of 2003 retail sales still grew by 0.4 percent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2002. Subsequently, sales began to dwindle and in the fourth quarter the drop equalled 5 percent.
Turnover clothes shops substantially lower
In particular shops selling clothes, home furnishing and consumer electronics saw their sales drop significantly in 2003. The 2003 turnover in clothes shops fell by more than 10 percent compared to 2002. The percentages for home furnishing and consumer electronics were almost 9 and 3 percent respectively.
In the non-food sector textile supermarkets, construction materials and shops selling household appliances realised a higher turnover in 2003.
Higher turnover supermarkets
The 2003 turnover realised by supermarkets was almost 3 percent higher than in the previous year. At the same time sales in specialist shops in the food sector dropped by almost 4 percent compared to 2002. In the period 2000 -2003 supermarket turnover grew by 16 percent. In specialist food shops, however, sales remained virtually unchanged. Apparently, consumers increasingly go to supermarkets to do their daily shopping.
Loss of turnover in December
In December 2003 retail turnover was 4.3 percent down on December 2002. Especially non-food sales dropped considerably, whereas the December 2003 turnover in shops selling food, beverages and tobacco slightly outperformed the December 2002 turnover. Supermarket turnover was more than 4 percent higher in December. Supermarket prices were 0.5 percent down on December 2002. Since the second half of October 2003 supermarkets have been involved in a price war. The upward trend in retail turnover in December 2003 was affected by the favourable shopping day pattern.
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