BUSINESS

Supermarkets see sales growth slow down in summer months

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy

Supermarket sales grew at their slowest annual clip yet this year in August, according to recently released data. Still the year-on-year comparison remained in positive territory, and will likely stay there till the end of 2018 barring any unforeseen circumstances that would reduce sales.

According to statistics released by market research firm IRI, the value of sales at Greek supermarkets rose by 3.4 percent in January-August this year compared to the same period last year. However, turnover rose by just 2.1 percent year-on-year in August, continuing the slowdown trend that started in June, and despite the additional growth in incoming tourism this summer.

While supermarket turnover posted an annual rise of 6.1 percent in May, this dropped to 2.8 percent in June and 2.3 percent in July. Similarly, growth in sales volume declined from 5.4 percent in May to 2.5 percent in June, 2 percent in July and 1.7 percent in August.

The sales volume of household goods rose by 4.8 percent in January-August, but turnover for the same category increased just 4.3 percent. Beauty and personal care products presented a similar picture, with sales volume growing 3.8 percent as turnover rose by just 1.8 percent. In contrast, the sales volume of food rose 2.9 percent while turnover for the same category increased 3.6 percent; this is because supermarkets have less flexibility as to when they can offer such goods at a discount, unlike the two aforementioned main categories of merchandise.

The extension of discounts to many big-brand products also explains to a great extent the fresh reduction in the market share of private-label products to 15.7 percent in January-August, from 16.3 percent a year earlier, and the drop in their turnover by 1.1 percent year-on-year.

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