According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, Dutch retailers sold 2.0 percent more in terms of volume in the first quarter of 2015 than in the same period last year. This is the fourth quarter in a row that retail sales were up. The volume growth was just about the same as in the last quarter of 2014. Shops selling food drink and tobacco (+1.2 percent) as well as non-food shops (+2.1 percent) sold more.
Turnover under pressure from lower prices
Turnover grew by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2-015, prices fell by 1.8 percent in the same period. This is the largest fall in prices since the first quarter of 2005. Prices of shop-sold consumer electronics, clothes and household items have been decreasing for a number of quarters in a row now. Retail prices of food, drink and tobacco were hardly lower. Turnover for these shops grew nearly as strongly as the volume of sales.
Largest turnover increase in seven years for furnishing stores
In the non-food sector, the picture was less constant in the first quarter of 2015. Chemists and shops selling home furnishings closed the first quarter with a rise in turnover that was larger than in the last quarter of 2014. Shops selling home furnishings even realised the highest turnover for seven years (5.0 percent). Turnover for shops in other retail sectors was down in the first quarter on the other hand. In the last quarter of 2014 shops selling consumer electronics and DIY items had a higher turnover than twelve months previously. All these branches were affected by lower retail prices in the first quarter of 2015.
Larger increase for turnover of mail order companies and online shops
In the first quarter of 2015 mail order companies and online shops realised 13 percent more turnover than one year previously. In March this increase was even more than 18 percent, the largest growth since December 2013.
From today, Statistics Netherlands will start publish figures on developments in online retail turnover.