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Athens retailers report fall in turnover of 25 percent from last year; drop steeper in other parts of Greece
Revenue figures from the summer sales season in the retail sector were disappointingly low, according to data provided by trade groups yesterday.
Encouraging signs arising from increased shopper traffic lasted for just the first 15 days of the sales season, according to the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE), which said turnover this year fell by an average of 25 percent from 2009 levels. The sales period ran from mid-July until the end of August.
As pointed out by ESEE president Vassilis Korkidis, more shoppers visited retailers over the sales period but there was no increase in revenues, despite the lower prices.
In Athens, the drop in revenues reached between 25 and 35 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, while in Piraeus the drop was about 25 percent. In other parts of Greece, the figures painted an even bleaker picture.
In Serres, northern Greece, stores reported a drop of up to 65 percent in turnover, while in Edessa, also in the north, it was around 40 percent. Shopkeepers in Kastoria said revenues were up to 45 percent lower than last year.
Consumers are being more careful about their spending habits, resulting in a drop in sales across all retail sectors, and among both small and larger businesses.
An initial drop of 10 percent in revenues during the first two weeks of the sales season was considered to be satisfactory by store owners but this soon gave way to an even sharper drop-off.
In the two-month period leading up to the sales, many retailers had reported 23 percent lower turnover. Data showed that eight in 10 store owners reported a drop in revenues, with the remainder saying revenues were at last year’s levels.
“In many large cities, the drop in turnover was matched by the percentage cut offered by stores on products,” said Korkidis.