Retail turnover nearly unchanged

The volume of turnover in the retail trade was 0.1 percent larger in the third quarter of this year than in the same period last year. In the five preceding quarters retail turnover was smaller than twelve months previously. The increase in the third quarter of 2004 was mainly on account of the food sector. In the non-food outlets the volume was smaller according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

Slight volume growth for food sector

Turnover volume for shops selling food, drink and tobacco was 0.6 percent larger in the third quarter of 2004 than in the same quarter last year. Turnover fell by 2.3 percent because of the substantial price cuts in this sector. Supermarket turnover was nearly 2 percent down. Specialist food shops such as butchers and greengrocers booked 4.5 percent less turnover. Turnover for these specialist outlets has been under pressure for some time now.

Volume smaller for non-food shops

In the third quarter of 2004 the volume of turnover for on-food shops was 0.5 percent smaller than in the same period last year. Turnover in this sector fell by 1.8 percent. Stores selling do-it-yourself items booked 3.7 percent less turnover than twelve months previously. Builders’ merchants, which account for 80 percent of turnover in the DIY branch, lost nearly 3 percent of turnover. Textile supermarkets and shops selling furniture and furnishings also book less turnover than last year.

Volume in September affected by shopping days

The volume of retail turnover was 0.3 percent larger in September than in the same month last year. The volume was positively affected by a more favourable pattern of shopping days in 2004 than in 2003. After correction for this difference, the volume in September was down, however.

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