GfK: Swiss retail trade to close 2022 with a minus

However, compared with the pre-pandemic result, the retail sector stands at a significant plus of 5 percent as of the end of December 2022.

Image: Mike Petrucci; Unsplash.

The GfK Market Monitor Swiss Retail Trade closes the year 2022 with a decline of 2.9%. Nonfood recorded a decline of minus 1.7 percent and food/nearfood declined somewhat more sharply with minus 3.7 percent. Compared with the result before the pandemic, Swiss retail trade will be up by a significant 5 percent at the end of December 2022.

The pandemic-related influences on stores and products for non-daily needs have a weaker impact on the nonfood result of the GfK Markt Monitor in Q4 2022 than in the previous quarter, and the flattening continues. Newer influencing factors such as the energy crisis, the war in Ukraine, sustainability awareness or even inflation have been added. Swiss people are spending money in all areas, but demand is restrained for very large investments. In the fashion market, the recovery continues in all areas. Dressing in new trends for office, leisure and, above all, vacation travel continues. Nevertheless, the pre-Corona level is far from being reached.

Little demand for winter sports equipment

Leisure is also performing positively as of the end of the year. This is mainly attributable to the ongoing recovery in the travel and luggage sector. According to a survey on toys, consumers planned to spend more budget on Christmas gifts. Now, in the end, these sales are clearly below the previous year, also because enormously high sales were generated in the 4th quarter of 2021 and therefore the previous year's forecast is very high. Sports is developing rather flat. Fitness equipment is not able to reach the high templates and the lack of snowfall leads to lower demand for winter sports hardware. The soccer category, on the other hand, benefited from the 2022 World Cup in the fourth quarter.

Firewood on the rise

The furnishings market and DIY, on the other hand, are largely in decline. Due to the uncertainties surrounding energy, DIY product groups such as firewood, compressors/generators and solar installations are nevertheless experiencing stronger demand. In the area of furnishings, the main declines in the 4th quarter were in Christmas lighting and fireworks. Home electronics also shows a decline. This continues to be due to very full inventories and intensification of the already increased price pressure, especially on premium products.

In Q4 2022, November performed better than December for the first time in comparison with the respective months of the previous year. Online shopping remains a consistently strong trend, the enormous growth rates of recent years are unattainable for 2022 and the online market is stagnating just below the previous year.


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