Retail turnover 1.5 percent down in April

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the Dutch retail sector recorded 1.5 percent year-on-year turnover decline in April 2020. The volume of sales decreased by 3.5 percent. Turnover was up in the food sector, but significantly down in the non-food sector. Furthermore, online sales increased by over 62 percent.

In April as well, measures against the spread of coronavirus had a major, but mixed effect on mainly the non-food sector. For example, shops selling DIY products again achieved the largest turnover increase since publication of data adjusted for changes in the shopping-day pattern started in January 2005. On the other hand, clothes shops and shops selling footwear and leather products saw their turnover decline even more than in the previous month.

Retail turnover data have been adjusted for changes in the shopping-day pattern. Retail sales tend to vary from one day to the next. If the shopping-day pattern is not taken into account, retail turnover in April 2020 was virtually the same as in the same month last year.

Turnover retail sector* (adjusted for shopping days)
 monthchange (year-on-year % change)
2015January1.4
2015February2.4
2015March1.4
2015April1.6
2015May1.4
2015June4
2015July2.9
2015August1
2015September5
2015October2.4
2015November1.1
2015December2.8
2016January1.5
2016February2.2
2016March1.5
2016April0.8
2016May3.5
2016June1.4
2016July2.8
2016August2.1
2016September0.4
2016October5.2
2016November5
2016December2.3
2017January5
2017February2.9
2017March4.6
2017April4.3
2017May3.8
2017June4.5
2017July4.5
2017August4.5
2017September5.8
2017October1.5
2017November5.4
2017December3.7
2018January3.6
2018February3
2018March1.7
2018April5.7
2018May3.7
2018June3.2
2018July3.8
2018August3.5
2018September1.9
2018October3.4
2018November4.2
2018December2.6
2019January1.5
2019February4.1
2019March4.1
2019April1.9
2019May2.6
2019June3.1
2019July3
2019August2.9
2019September4.4
2019October3.6
2019November2.4
2019December5.2
2020January3.6
2020February5
2020March3.3
2020April-1.5
*excluding petrol stations and pharmacies

Turnover growth non-food sector almost 16 percent lower

In April, turnover in the non-food sector was down by 15.8 percent year-on-year. This is the largest turnover decrease since publication of data adjusted for changes in the shopping-day pattern started in January 2005. The volume of sales (adjusted for price changes) decreased by 16.3 percent.

Within the non-food sector, there are great contrasts. Clothes shops and shops selling footwear and leather products saw the largest turnover decline since 2005. Turnover of shops selling furniture and home furnishings, shops selling recreational goods and shops selling personal care products also declined. However, shops selling DIY products, kitchens and flooring, and shops selling consumer electronics and white goods again achieved significant turnover growth.

Over 6 percent turnover growth for food sector

Shops selling food, beverages and tobacco achieved 6.1 percent more turnover in April 2020 than in the same month last year. The volume of sales increased by 2.7 percent. Supermarkets saw a turnover growth of 6.6 percent, while turnover of specialist shops increased by 2.2 percent.

Turnover branches retail sector* (adjusted for shopping days)
 April 2020 (year-on-year % change)March 2020 (year-on-year % change)
Total food6.112.1
Supermarkets6.613
Specialist shops2.25.4
Total non-food-15.8-8
DIY products, kitchens, flooring25.623.4
Consumer electronics11.814.8
Recreational goods-3.6-8.7
Personal care products-3.714.6
Furniture and household articles-8.2-7.2
Shoes and leather products-44.7-38.9
Clothes-58.5-41.2
* excluding petrol stations and pharmacies

Online shops realise over 62 percent turnover growth

In April 2020, online shops saw their turnover go up by 62.4 percent relative to April 2019. Since the start of the publication of Internet sales in January 2014 growth has never been higher, both for web shops and for multi-channel retailers. Web shops recorded a turnover increase of 52.4 percent; their core activity is selling goods and services over the Internet. Multi-channel retailers (retailers selling goods and services over the Internet as a side activity) achieved 75.7 percent higher turnover in online sales. 

Figures published in this news release are provisional and subject to revision.

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