Retail turnover 2.2 percent down in March

Turnover generated by the Dutch retail sector was 2.2 percent down in March 2014 from March 2013. Average retail prices were 0.6 percent down from twelve months previously. The volume of retail sales shrank 1.5 percent. The holiday and shopping-day pattern in March 2014 was less favourable than in March 2013. The Easter weekend, for example, was later this year than last year. Most consumers did their Easter shopping in April and last year in March.

Turnover generated by the sector food, drinks and tobacco was down by 4.7 percent in March relative to March 2013. Retail prices were at approximately the same level in March 2014 as in March last year. Turnover realised in the non-food sector remained fairly stable (-0.1 percent). Prices of non-food products were 0.7 percent lower. The non-food sector showed a mixed picture. DIY shops and textile supermarkets realised substantially higher turnover levels, but household appliances shops, clothes shops, home furnishing shops and chemist’s shops faced turnover losses.

Mail-order firms and on-line services are also included in the retail sector. They have outperformed traditional shops for quite some time now. In March this year, turnover generated by mail-order firms and online shops grew 10.0 percent relative to the same month in 2013.

The majority of retail sales is generated by traditional shopkeepers. In 2013, non-food shops accounted for 48 percent of total retail turnover; shops in the food-sector accounted for 37 percent. Petrol stations contributed 9 percent and sales through non-shop retail channels accounted for the remaining 6 percent.

Retail turnover

Retail turnover

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.       

For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.