Retail turnover was nearly 9 percent down in April 2012 from April 2011. In March, sales increased by more than 2 percent. Retail prices were 2 percent higher, but the volume of retail sales shrank by nearly 11 percent relative to twelve months previously.
Retail turnover is affected by the shopping-day pattern. The shopping-day pattern was considerably less favourable in April 2012 than in April 2011. April 2012 had a Friday and a Saturday less, but a Sunday and a Monday extra. The Queen’s Birthday was celebrated on a Monday this year, but last year on a Saturday. Altogether, the negative effect on sales is estimated at approximately 5 percent.
Shops in the non-food sector faced the most dramatic turnover loss. Their turnover was nearly 13 percent down from April 2011. Clothes shops, textile supermarkets and DIY shops each suffered a turnover loss of more than 15 percent. Household appliances shops and home furnishing shops also suffered a great deal. Only consumer electronics shops realised a modest turnover growth.
Turnover generated by food, drinks and tobacco shops was 6 percent down. Petrol stations faced a 3 percent turnover loss. Apart from traditional shops and petrol stations, the retail sector also includes mail-order firms and online shops. They achieved a turnover growth of more than 5 percent.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.