Dutch retail turnover nearly 5 percent down

In Februari 2013, retail turnover was 4.8 percent down from the same month last year. The volume of sales shrank by a dramatic 7.2 percent, retail prices were 2.6 percent higher, as the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands show.

The main reason for the turnover slump was the fact that February had one shopping day less than February in leap year 2012. The effect thereof on retail turnover is estimated at approximately 4 percent.

The non-food sector in particular had a hard time of it. Turnover and sales volume dropped by more than 7 and nearly 9 percent respectively. Turnover was down across all non-food branches relative to twelve months ago. DIY shops and textile supermarkets suffered most.

For food, drinks and tobacco shops, turnover loss was just over 1 percent. Volume shrank by nearly 5 percent. The difference in the number of shopping days entirely accounted for the lower level of sales in this branch. After correction for this effect, turnover growth was about 2 percent, although volume still declined marginally.

Unlike traditional shops, mail-order companies and internet shops again generated turnover growth in February, but 1 percent was the smallest growth in this branch since January 2012.

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