BUSINESS

Slump hits sales across the board

The summer sales period is showing that Greece?s economic slump is now seriously affecting malls and department stores, which had so far proved the most resistant to the crisis.

Vassilis Korkidis, president of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce, notes that consumers seem to be greeting the lowest prices seen in the last decade with indifference.

Traders believe that in view of the rising unemployment rate, the worst is yet to come. The planned further budget cuts are also expected to exacerbate the situation.

Apparel chain Sprider Stores has reported a 25 percent drop in sales and plans to reduce the number of outlets across the country from 115 a year ago to 80.

The situation is even more dire in the furniture retail sector, marked by the fall in profits reported by IKEA, the market leader, in the first quarter of the year.

In the first five months of 2012, clothing and footwear outlets? turnover was 22.3 percent down year-on-year, at department stores the respective figure was 11.5 percent and at furniture and electrical goods outlets 18.2 percent.

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