Last year’s summer sales retail turnover was about 2 billion euros less than in 2009, as the drastic contraction of disposable incomes has led to not only fewer but cheaper purchases, data from the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises (ESEE) show.
Although summer sales turnover rose marginally in 2017 compared to 2016, mainly thanks to the increase in tourism in densely populated areas such as Attica, it was still far below the pre-crisis levels.
Retailers are optimistic that this small growth trend will continue this year too, when the sales window opens on Monday. The sales will end on August 31. Retail stores will open next Sunday, July 15, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
ESEE statistics showed that in July and August 2017 retailers’ turnover came to 6.02 billion euros, up just 0.8 percent on the 2016 sales window. In the 2009 summer sales, retail turnover had come to 8.05 billion, so the decline last year amounted to more than 25 percent.
The lowest point for summer sales this decade was in 2015, when turnover came to just 5.77 billion euros. This is explained by the imposition of the capital controls and the shuttering of banks for three weeks starting in late June that year. That was when the growth trend recorded in 2014 was halted, while the biggest annual decline was in 2013, amounting to 12 percent from 2012, when it fell to 5.84 billion euros.
This summer ESEE expects a marginal rise from last year, by around 0.7 percent, to take the sum to 6.06 billion euros. This is based on retail commerce turnover’s course since the start of the year, which in the January-April period posted a 0.65 percent expansion.
“The atmosphere among retail professionals is mixed, with hopes for turnover growth but also with strong concerns as the summer sales are taking place in an environment of increased tax obligations for all consumers, which force purchases off their priorities list,” said ESEE chief Vassilis Korkidis.
“We place our hopes on tourism traffic and the imported consumption that is growing in this period, provided of course that the increase in arrivals is also reflected in positive tourism revenue rates across Greek commerce,” he added.