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Germany’s non-food retail sector records heavy sales losses



Germany‘s retail sector in April recorded the “strongest month-on-month decline in sales since January 2007” as nominal sales fell by 5.1 percent, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis)strong> announced on Friday.

Due to closures during the COVID-19 crisis, sales in some retail sectors continued to fall sharply although the continued “strong demand for everyday consumer goods” led to increased sales in other areas, such as supermarkets, Destatis noted.

Demand for food, beverages and tobacco products continued to rise significantly in April and saw sales increase by 9.5 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, sales of retailers in the non-food sector fell by 14.4 percent year-on-year, according to Destatis.

The “largest drop in sales measured since 1994 in any sector of Germany’s retail trade” was recorded in the sectors of textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods with a drop of 70.9 percent year-on-year, Destatis noted.

The German Retail Federation (HDE) also announced on Friday that the country’s non-food retail sector “suffered a historic drop in sales” and is expecting that non-food retailers could lose an additional 15 billion euros (16.7 billion U.S. dollars) in sales by the end of the year.

According to a HDE company survey, 29 percent of non-food retailers in Germany were currently generating less than 50 percent of last year’s sales.

“The crisis is hitting small and medium-sized retailers particularly hard, who are of central importance to our cities and communities like no other industry,” said Stefan Genth, head of HDE.


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