Dutch retail turnover shrinks

According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, retail turnover in the Netherlands was 2 percent lower in the third quarter of 2013 than in the same quarter last year. Prices were 2.2 percent higher, the volume of sales was 4.2 percent smaller.

Turnover in non-food shops was nearly 5 percent lower in the third quarter. The volume of sales decreased by 6 percent. Turnover was lower than twelve months previously across all non-food branches. Shops selling consumer electronics lost nearly 13 percent of their turnover. Stores selling home furnishings and do-it-yourself items also saw a substantial drop in turnover. Only textile supermarkets managed to increase turnover.

Shops in the food sector realised 2 percent more turnover than twelve months previously. Prices were nearly 4 percent higher, while the volume was nearly 2 percent smaller. The turnover reduction was smaller for specialist shops this quarter than in the three preceding quarters. Although supermarkets booked a higher turnover, just as in the previous quarter, the volume of sales was slightly smaller.

Turnover recorded by mail-order companies and web shops was nearly 8 percent higher than in the third quarter last year. This is in line with the growth in this sector in recent quarters.

Retail turnover slipped by about 6 percent in September of this year. The volume of sales dropped substantially, while price increases were smaller than in previous months. The shopping-day pattern was less favourable than in September last year, which had a negative effect of around 2 percent. The large decrease may also have been caused by the increase in the VAT rate which came into force on 1 October 2012. Consumers may very well have brought forward purchases of more expensive items last year in anticipation of the rise.

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