Retail turnover almost 6 percent up in March

© CBS/Alrik Swagerman
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports for March 2021 that the Dutch retail sector recorded 5.9 percent year-on-year turnover growth. The volume of sales went up by 4.9 percent. Turnover in the non-food sector was up slightly, while the food sector suffered turnover losses. Online retail turnover increased by 68.3 percent. Relative to March 2019, the retail sector realised 9.4 percent more turnover in March 2021.

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 March 2021 was 8.2 percent higher than in the same month last year.

Turnover retail sector* (adjusted for shopping days)
 maandmutatie (year-on-year % change)
2015januari1.4
2015februari2.4
2015maart1.4
2015april1.6
2015mei1.4
2015juni4
2015juli2.9
2015augustus1
2015september5
2015oktober2.4
2015november1.1
2015december2.8
2016januari1.5
2016februari2.2
2016maart1.5
2016april0.8
2016mei3.5
2016juni1.4
2016juli2.8
2016augustus2.1
2016september0.4
2016oktober5.2
2016november5
2016december2.3
2017januari5
2017februari2.9
2017maart4.6
2017april4.3
2017mei3.8
2017juni4.5
2017juli4.5
2017augustus4.5
2017september5.8
2017oktober1.5
2017november5.4
2017december3.7
2018januari3.6
2018februari3
2018maart1.7
2018april5.7
2018mei3.7
2018juni3.2
2018juli3.8
2018augustus3.5
2018september1.9
2018oktober3.4
2018november4.2
2018december2.6
2019januari1.5
2019februari4.1
2019maart4.1
2019april1.9
2019mei2.6
2019juni3.1
2019juli3
2019augustus2.9
2019september4.4
2019oktober3.6
2019november2.4
2019december5.2
2020januari3.5
2020februari4.9
2020maart3.4
2020april-1
2020mei8.6
2020juni10.2
2020juli9.2
2020augustus10.2
2020september7.3
2020oktober7.2
2020november10.1
2020december-3.4
2021januari-6
2021februari-2.9
2021Maart5.9
*excluding petrol stations and pharmacies

Turnover in non-food sector 1 percent higher

In March, turnover in the non-food sector was up by 1 percent year-on-year. The volume of sales (adjusted for price changes) fell by 1.4 percent compared to the same month last year. Turnover growth in the non-food sector is mainly due to the fact that turnover was at a low level in March 2020, the first month in which measures against the spread of coronavirus came into effect. On balance, the non-food sector in particular was affected substantially by this. Compared to March 2019, the turnover of non-food shops was over 7 percent lower in March 2021.

In March 2021, clothes shops and shops selling footwear and leather products realised considerably higher turnover year-on-year, but in March 2020 these shops suffered unprecedented turnover losses. The growth in March 2021 did not make up for the loss in March 2020. Turnover of shops selling clothes and shoes was significantly lower in March 2021 than in March 2019.

Turnover of shops selling recreational goods and shops selling furniture and home furnishings was also higher in March 2021 than twelve months previously. These stores also suffered major turnover losses in March 2020. Relative to March 2019, their turnover was higher as well.

Shops selling consumer electronics and white goods, shops selling DIY products, kitchens and flooring and shops selling personal care products realised substantial turnover growth in March 2020, but faced losses in March 2021. Compared to March 2019, these shops did record an increase.

Almost 2 percent lower turnover for food shops

Shops selling food, beverages and tobacco achieved 1.6 percent less turnover in March 2021 than in March 2020. The volume of sales decreased by 1.5 percent. Turnover of supermarkets was 2 percent lower year-on-year, while turnover of specialist shops grew by 1.2 percent.

Compared to the non-food sector, the opposite is true for the food sector. Turnover was at a high level in March 2020. Compared to March 2019, the food sector realised10.5 percent higher turnover.

Turnover branches retail sector* (adjusted for shopping days)
 March 2021 (year-on-year % change)February 2021 (year-on-year % change)
Total food-1.68.7
Specialist shops1.24.4
Supermarkets-29.3
Total non-food1-30.2
Clothes36-52.9
Shoes and leather products25.7-43
Recreational goods14.1-30.6
Furniture and household articles8.2-29.5
Personal care products-2.32.6
DIY products, kitchens, flooring-12.8-10.1
Consumer electronics-14.1-19.2
* excluding petrol stations and pharmacies

Online turnover over 68 percent higher

In March 2021, online shops recorded 68.3 percent more turnover than in the same month last year. Webshops recorded a turnover increase of 50.5 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 91.4 percent higher turnover in online sales.