Retail sales pick up significantly in 2021 as a whole

Swiss retailers turned over more in 2021 than in the first pandemic year of 2020, meaning that all sectors that had suffered losses in 2020 due in part to the Covid 19 pandemic were largely able to recoup them.

DetailhandelsumsätzeLast year, Swiss retailers recorded a nominal increase in sales of 4.2 percent. In real terms, i.e. excluding inflation, it was 4.7 percent, according to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office FSO on Tuesday. However, these figures are still provisional.

Food sales stagnate after strong 2020

This development was driven by all sectors except the food industry, which stagnated after the strong 2020 in the previous year.

According to the FSO, all the others were strongly up, almost offsetting the losses reported in some cases in the previous year. Sales in the non-food sector, for example, increased by 7.4 percent in nominal terms. In 2020, sales figures had still been in the red (nominal -3.7%).

The "Information and communication technology equipment" (+7.8%) and "Market stalls, mail order and internet trade" (+6.3%) sectors again recorded sustained strong growth. They thus confirmed the upward trend from the previous year, when they had each reported double-digit growth rates.

There was also renewed demand for products from the "other household appliances, textiles, do-it-yourself and home furnishings" sector, as shown by the nominal increase in sales of +3.5 percent.

Double-digit sales growth

Meanwhile, the "other goods (clothing, pharmacies, watches and jewelry)" and "publishing products, sports equipment and toys" sectors (+11.0%) and "publishing products, sports equipment and toys" (+6.6%) managed to offset their prior-year losses.

This also applied to service stations. For 2021, the industry was expecting a nominal increase in sales of 12.8 percent, following a decline of 14.2 percent in 2020.

At the end of the year, retail sales adjusted for sales and holiday effects fell by 0.5 percent in nominal terms (-0.4% in real terms). However, even seasonally adjusted sales in December fell by 2.2 percent in nominal terms compared with the previous month (-2.0% in real terms). (SDA)

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