Retail turnover dramatically down

  • Shopping-day pattern has downward effect on April sales
  • Non-food sector faces turnover and volume loss
  • Consumer electronics shops report modest turnover growth

According to the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands, retail turnover was 8.7 percent down in April 2012 from the same period one year previously. Retail prices were 2.1 percent up, but retail volume was 10.6 percent down.

Retail sales were strongly affected by a less favourable shopping-day pattern compared to April 2011. After correction for the number of shopping days, retail sales were nearly 4 percent down and retail volume was approximately 6 percent down.

Non-food sales were nearly 13 percent below the level of one year previously. After correction for the number of shopping days, sales in the non-food sector were still considerably lower (more than 8 percent) than one year previously. The volume of sales almost entirely accounts for the turnover decline. Nearly all branches in the non-food sector reported turnover decline, in particular clothes shops, textile supermarkets and DIY shops. Only consumer electronics shops reported a modest turnover growth.

Food, drinks and tobacco shops faced 6 percent turnover loss. The unfavourable shopping-day pattern had a downward effect on sales of supermarkets and specialist shops. If this effect is eliminated, the turnover level of supermarkets ans specialist shops is about 2 percent above the level of April 2011. The volume of supermarket sales was marginally above the level of one year previously after correction for shopping days.

Mail-order firms and online shops recorded a 5 percent higher turnover relative to April last year. Despite higher prices, petrol stations reported loss of turnover.