Retail turnover continues to fall

Turnover in the Dutch retail trade was 3.6 percent lower in the first quarter of 2004 than in the same quarter in 2003. This is the fourth quarter in succession that retail turnover has fallen according to Statistics Netherlands. The decrease in turnover was mainly on account of lower turnover in non-food shops. Consumers paid 1,2 percent less for their shopping in the first quarter; turnover volume was 2.4 percent smaller than twelve months previously. In March 2004 retail turnover was 3.3 percent lower than in March 2003.

Turnover in non-food shops nearly 6 percent down

In the first quarter of 2003 shops selling non-food booked 5.6 percent less turnover than in the same quarter last year. The fall in turnover was highest for furniture stores, namely nearly 9 percent; clothes shops had 7.7 less turnover. The only non-food shops which managed to increase turnover in the first quarter of 2004 were drugstores and shops selling household items.

Turnover in food shops stable

Turnover in shops selling food, drink and tobacco was the same in the first quarter of this year as in the first quarter of last year. Supermarkets  realised a turnover increase of just over 1 percent. Supermarket prices were 1.3 percent lower than in the first quarter of last year; the volume of turnover was 2.6 percent higher. The lower prices are connected with the price war between the main supermarket chains which broke out at the end of October 2003. Turnover in specialist shops such as greengrocers and butchers dropped by nearly 6 percent in the first quarter.

Turnover loss in March

Retail turnover was 3.3 percent lower in March 2004 than twelve months previously. Turnover was lower for both food and non-food outlets. Retail turnover has been falling since March 2003, i.e. thirteen successive months. Turnover in March 2004 was more than 7 percent lower than in March 2002.

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