Retail turnover falling for two years now

Retail turnover in the first quarter of 2005 was 3.2 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2004. This is now the eighth quarter in a row that retail turnover has fallen. Retail prices were 1.0 percent lower, while the volume of turnover was 2.2 percent smaller according to figures from Statistics Netherlands. 

Turnover in non-food shops 4.5 percent down

In the first quarter of 2005, turnover in the non-food sector was 4.5 percent lower than in the same period last year. Shops selling consumer electronics suffered the largest turnover loss, nearly 11 percent. But for chemists, too, the decrease was substantial: more than 7 percent. Among the non-food sectors only textile supermarkets realised an increase in turnover.

Turnover also down in food sector

Shops selling food, drink and tobacco also booked less in the first quarter of 2005: turnover in this sector was 1.7 percent down. For specialist shops such as greengrocers and butchers, the fall was 3.4 percent. Supermarket turnover fell by 1.3 percent.

Turnover up in March

In contrast to the first quarter as a whole, in March retail turnover increased. Retail sales amounted to 1.6 percent more than twelve months previously. However, the difference in shopping days between March 2004 and March 2005 should be taken into account. And also the fact that this year Easter was in March might have had a positive effect on turnover. Shops selling food, drink and tobacco increased turnover by 5.6 percent, while non-food shops booked a modest fall.

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