Technical explanation

This news release includes year-on-year data and developments. The status of figures referring to the report months in 2015 is provisional.


In the retail sector, four main categories can be distinguished: food, beverages and tobacco shops (with a share of 37 percent in 2014), non-food shops (48 percent), retail trade through non-traditional distribution channels (7 percent) en petrol stations (8 percent).

Price developments

Data on price developments are based on consumer price index figures, but these figures are not available by branch. Therefore, prices are estimated on the basis of price developments for a selection of articles most characteristic for that particular branch. Price developments for articles in a particular branch are also affected by the price for which that same article is sold in other branches. Price developments for branch-unrelated articles are not taken into account.

Mail-order firms and online shops

Figures for retail trade through mail-order firms and internet shops refer to products sold to consumers by mail-order firms and/or internet shops. These figures do not provide an overall picture of online retail trade. Internet sales realised in traditional shops are not included in retail trade through mail-order firms and online shops, but are included in branches related to the main activities of these shops. If, for example, a clothing shop mainly sells clothes in the traditional manner, but also generates turnover by selling through the internet, turnover is attributed to the branch clothing shops.

Turnover e-tailing

As from today, CBS will publish figures on total turnover generated by mail-order firms and online shops and turnover data regarding online sales of medium-sized and large (10 or more employed staff) retail businesses. CBS distinguishes between pure online retailers and so-called multi-channel retailers. The core activity of pure internet retailers is selling over the Internet, whereas multi-channel retailers sell products over the Internet and in the traditional manner in shops.

Shopping-day pattern

If turnover developments are evaluated, differences in the shopping-day pattern must also be taken into account. April 2015 had an extra Thursday, but four instead of five Tuesdays compared to April 2014. The difference in the shopping-day pattern in April 2015 had a positive effect on total retail turnover. The figures presented in the StatLine table have not been adjusted for differences in the shopping-day pattern.