non-food shops account for better results retail sector

  • Turnover loss retail sector smallest in twenty-four months
  • DIY shops perform better

According to data released today by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), retail turnover was 0.3 percent down in the first quarter of 2014 from one year previously, i.e. the smallest negative growth rate in two years. Higher non-food sales contributed to the modest recovery of the retail sector.

Non-food sales up

For the first time in more than three years, non-food sales were up in the first quarter of 2014, prices for non-food products fell marginally. The trend which started out in 2013 thus continues: after a dip in the first quarter of 2013, sales picked up in the course of the year.
DIY shops in particular performed well. Turnover growth in this branch has not been this high since the fourth quarter of 2006. The relatively warm and dry weather conditions in February and March boosted DIY sales. The positive results are in line with the growing number of house sales recorded in recent months.

Way Easter falls has negative effect on first-quarter results food, drinks and tobacco shops

Food, drinks and tobacco shops were faced with the first turnover loss since early 2010. Sales had shown a downward trend for some time, but the effects were offset by higher prices. Over the past six months, prices have risen less rapidly and, at the same time, the volume of sales continued to decrease. The loss of turnover in the first quarter of 2014 was predominantly caused by the poor turnover results in March. Last year, shopping for the Easter weekend was mostly done in the last week of March and this year mainly in April. The shopping-day pattern was also less favourable than in March 2013. After correction for these effects, turnover results in March were just above last year’s level.