About seven in every 10 enterprises (68%) recorded a decline in sales over the first couple of weeks of the summer sales window, compared with the same period last year, while just 8% reported an increase, according to a survey by the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE).
The survey also showed that 58% of enterprises believe that their sales in the first two weeks of the sales lagged their expectations, even though they had already factored in the impact of the pandemic.
In apparel, the vast majority of enterprises (72%) recorded a slump in turnover in comparison with last year, while the decline in the category of recreational and educational commodities only concerned 48% of companies.
Over three-quarters of enterprises (77%) made special offers in the period from when they reopened after the lockdown up to the summer sales. Apparel enterprises were more aggressive, as eight in 10 adopted a policy of offers straight after the lockdown was lifted.
The survey’s results showed that smaller enterprises suffered a greater blow in proportional terms over the first two weeks of the sales: Almost four in every five companies with an annual turnover of up to 45,000 euros recorded a decline in turnover from the same period in 2019. The decline only concerned six out of 10 enterprises with a turnover above €45,000 per year.
For most enterprises surveyed (72%) the average discount rate on the original prices did not exceed 40%, with most shops (based on their activity volume) setting their average discount at between 21% and 40%.
About three in every four (74%) enterprises reported a decline in customers visiting their stores in comparison with last year, which may well be linked to the rapid advance in electronic searches and sales, with the drop in visits to homeware stores being even greater (81% of them).
Over five in every six companies (84%) said consumers appeared reserved when shopping, which is attributed to the general uncertainty generated by the coronavirus pandemic.
A slightly smaller rate of companies (72%) admitted they have been affected by the pandemic to a major extent, with just 6% saying they saw little or no impact.