Retail turnover 2.7 percent up in December

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Dutch retail trade achieved 2.7 percent turnover growth in December year-on-year, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports. Retail sales volume grew 1.1 percent in volume. Both the food sector and the non-food sector recorded better turnover results while online sales rose by over 12 percent. In 2016, retail turnover was 1.9 percent up on the previous year. This is the highest turnover growth in eight years.

Retail turnover data have been adjusted for changes in the shopping-day pattern. Retail sales tend to vary by day. If the shopping-day pattern is not taken into account, retail turnover would be almost 4 percent higher than in December 2015.

Small turnover growth for non-food sector

In December, turnover in the non-food sector rose by 0.5 percent. Prices were up year-on-year while the sales volume was 0.4 percent down on the previous year. Just as in October and November, turnover rose for shops selling clothes, DIY, kitchen design, flooring, furniture and household appliances.

On the other hand, turnover was down by more than 8 percent for shoe shops and shops selling leather products and by 6 percent for shops selling recreational goods, while traditional consumer electronic shops saw turnover drop by nearly 3 percent. After two consecutive months of turnover growth exceeding 7 percent, drugstores and perfume shops saw turnover decline by over 1 percent in December.

Sustained turnover growth for food shops

In December, shops selling food, drinks and tobacco had a 2.4 percent higher turnover while the volume of sales rose by 0.6 percent. For supermarkets, turnover grew by 2.7 percent and for specialist food shops by 1 percent.

Turnover non-food sector (adjusted for shopping-days)
Total food2.42.4
Specialised shops selling food-0.81
Total non-food4.10.5
DIY shops, kitchens, floors9.56.3
Furniture, household articles1.73.1
Chemists shops, perfumery etcetera7.4-1.2
Consumer electronics-0.7-2.7
Recreation goods1-6.2
Footwear and leather goods -3.7-8.1

Strong growth online turnover

Online turnover grew by 12.1 percent relative to December 2015. Web shops recorded a surge in turnover of 11.6 percent; their core activity is selling through the internet. Multi-channelers (retailers selling goods and services over the internet and in the traditional manner) realised a turnover growth of 12.8 percent.

Highest retail turnover growth in 8 years

Retail trade turnover in 2016 was 1.9 percent up year-on-year, the highest growth in turnover since 2009; the year-on-year growth rate in 2015 was 1.4 percent. In 2016, the retail sales volume rose by 1.4 percent. Food shops saw turnover rise by 1.9 percent while shops in non-food had slightly less turnover growth at 0.9 percent. Online turnover grew by almost 19 percent.

However, retail turnover in 2016 is still 4.5 percent lower than in 2008. The non-food retail sector still has turnover loss of over 17 percent since the onset of the economic crisis. On the other hand, shops selling food, drinks and tobacco achieved almost 12 percent higher turnover than before the crisis.

Turnover developments retail sector

As of October 2016, CBS publishes monthly series of retail turnover data adjusted for shopping-day effects. In addition, CBS publishes seasonally adjusted turnover data on a quarterly basis. The figures included in this news release have been adjusted for shopping days, unless specifically stated otherwise.