In the first six months of 2002, for the first time since 1994, retail turnover was down on the corresponding period of the previous year. Turnover volume dropped by 0.4 percent, according to preliminary figures by Statistics Netherlands.
The non-food sector was largely accountable for this decrease, whereas, in the food sector, turnover volume increased. The value of retail trade rose by 3.8 percent in the first six months of 2002 compared with the same period last year, prices increased by 4.3 percent.
Turnover volume in non-food shrinking
In the first six months of 2002, turnover volume in the non-food sector was 1.0 percent down on the first six months of 2001. Ever since 1998, the rise of turnover volume in the non-food sector has slowed down. In the first six months of 1998, for instance, turnover volume grew by 7 percent. In the corresponding period in 2001, growth was down to 2.3 percent, whereas in the first six months of 2002, a volume reduction was recorded.
Substantial drop in volume interior decorating
Notable volume reductions (-4.7%) were observed in furniture, furnishings, lighting equipment and floor coverings compared to the first six months last year. The value of turnover in interior decorating remained virtually unchanged, in the chemist and DIY branches and particularly textile supermarkets, which rose by nearly 8 percent, the growth was above average. Retail shops in household articles saw their turnover increase by 1.2 percent.
Volume increase food sector
In the food sector, volume increased by 0.9 percent in the first six months of 2002 compared with the same period in the previous year. Turnover value rose by 5.7 percent, prices by 4.7 percent. Supermarkets, the largest branch in the food sector, saw turnover rise by 6.3 percent; specialised food shops such as greengrocers, butchers and off-licences saw turnover rise by 2.3 percent.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)