Unfavourable shopping-day pattern keeps retail turnover down

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According to Statistics Netherlands turnover generated by the retail sector was 1.8 percent down in January from January 2015. The main cause for the downturn is the unfavourable shopping-day pattern. The volume (of retail sales) shrank even faster, by 2.5 percent. Food, beverages and tobacco shops as well as the non-food sector suffered loss of turnover. Online sales grew substantially.

January 2016 had one Friday less and one Sunday more than January 2015. Adjusted for shopping days retail turnover grew marginally.

Turnover results food sector in decline

Turnover realised by food, beverages and tobacco shops was 2.5 percent below the level reached twelve months ago. Sales were 3.3 percent down from one year previously, whereas consumer prices were 0.9 percent higher. Supermarkets lost more than 2 percent of their turnover, specialist shops more than 5 percent.

Loss of turnover for household appliances shops and consumer electronics shops

Non-food turnover fell off by 2.3 percent. Non-food sales decreased by 3.6 percent relative to one year previously, but consumer prices were 1.4 percent higher. Household appliances shops and consumer electronics shops in particular saw sales dip in January.

Year-on-year, household appliances shops and consumer electronics shops recorded turnover losses by nearly 12 percent and more than 5 percent respectively in January. Clothing and DIY shops also accounted for poor turnover results. In the retail sector, only furniture shops and chemist shops realised a (modest) turnover growth.

Turnover non-food sector
 Dec 2015Jan 2016
Total food3-2.5
Specialised shops selling food5.6-5.1
Total non-food sector3-2.3
Home furnishing shops7.90.8
Chemists shops5.80.1
DIY shops1.4-0.9
Consumer electronics-3.5-5.4
Household articles-1.1-11.8

E-shopping continues to grow

Turnover generated by so-called multi-channelers, i.e. shopkeepers selling goods and services online as well as in the traditional manner, grew by 16 percent in January compared to the same month in 2015. Web shops boasted a year-on-year turnover growth by no less than 26 percent. For web shops, selling goods and services over the internet is their core activity.

More bankruptcies

In the first two months of 2016 more retailers were declared bankrupt than in the preceding months. In January the number of bankruptcies totalled 64, versus 65 in February. These are the highest totals recorded in the past twelve months.