Statistics Netherlands reports today that retail turnover was 1.4 percent down in August 2015 from the same month last year. The decline is partly due to the fact that the shopping-day pattern was less favourable than in August 2014. The volume of sales and the average price level were 0.7 percent down. The non-food sector suffered loss of turnover, mainly because the volume of sales decreased. Food, drinks and tobacco shops, on the other hand, achieved positive turnover results. Online shops and mail-order firms also realised turn growth, although growth was more modest than in the preceding months.
August had one Friday less and one Monday more than August 2014. This change in the shopping-day pattern had a negative effect on retail turnover. After correction for calendar effects, retail turnover was at approximately the same level as one year previously.
Turnover non-food sector considerably down
Turnover results in the non-food sector were rather poor in August (- 4.6 percent), versus a turnover growth by more than 4 percent in July. Home furnishing shops struggled with negative turnover results for the first time since June 2014. Clothing shops and consumer electronics shops also saw turnover fall in August, but chemist shops retained the growth rate recorded in recent months.
Weather conditions may have affected declining sales in August 2015. Last year, the retail sector attracted more customers, because of the bad weather during the holiday period. This year weather conditions were in fact above average, making people less keen to go shopping. The less favourable shopping-day pattern also had a negative effect on sales.
Modest turnover growth for food, drinks and tobacco shops
Food, drinks and tobacco shops reported a turnover growth rate by 1.2 percent. Prices and volume of daily shopping items rose by 0.6 percent. Supermarkets achieved a 1.0 percent turnover growth; specialist shops had a turnover loss of 0.1 percent.
Turnover growth online shops slows down
Online retail turnover growth was less substantial (13.7 percent) than in the preceding months. Shopkeepers for whom online sales are only an additional activity (the so-called multi-channelers), boasted a turnover growth of 19.5 percent. Online shops realised a turnover growth of 11.0 percent relative to the same period last year. Web shop retailers exclusively sell goods and/or services over the internet.