Retail turnover growth 4 percent in March

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), retail turnover was 4 percent up in March from the same month last year. This year Easter fell in March, which boosted sales, in particular in the food sector. The shopping-day pattern also had a positive effect on turnover.


March 2016 had a Wednesday and a Thursday more and a Sunday and a Monday less than March 2015. After correction for the calendar effect, retail turnover is only marginally higher than one year previously.

Easter boosts turnover food sector

Turnover generated by food, beverages and tobacco shops was 7.8 percent up from twelve months previously. The calendar effect referred to above played a part in this respect. Retail sales and prices were up by 6.5 and 1.2 percent respectively. Supermarkets and specialist shops saw turnover grow by nearly 8 percent compared to last year.

Modest turnover growth non-food sector

The non-food sector accounted for a 1.4 percent turnover growth relative to last year. Prices were 0.9 percent higher, sales rose by 0.5 percent.

Home furnishing shops and chemist shops showed better turnover results. Household appliances shops, DIY shops and clothing shops also reported good results in March 2015, but - just as in the preceding months - consumer electronics shops performed less well.

Turnover non-food sector
 February 2016March 2016
Total food3.77.8
Specialist food shops47.7
Total non-food sector0.51.4
Chemist shops3.76.2
Home furnishing shops7.36.2
Household articles-0.24
DIY shops5.32.5
Consumer electronics-8.5-8.9

Robust growth e-tailing

Online turnover increased by nearly 20 percent in March. Turnover results realised by web shops were more than 26 percent higher than in the same period last year. For web shops selling goods and services over the internet is their core activity. Online turnover generated by traditional retailers, for whom selling online is only a side activity (so-called multi-channelers), was more than 11 percent up.