Sales turnover down by a quarter

Greek stores are reporting a 25 percent drop in turnover during the first 20 days of the summer sales, compared to the same period last year, while in the center of Athens the decrease is put at up to 40 percent, partly due to the two-and-a-half weeks of strike action by taxi owners.

National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) data show that despite an average yearly drop in prices by 15 percent, sales have fallen by a quarter in the period from July 15 to August 3, which constitutes the highest ever annual decrease.

It comes on top of a 15 percent decline last summer and a 20 percent fall in the summer of 2009.

ESEE warns that this will likely lead to many shops being forced to close from September.

Even department stores are showing a 7-10 percent drop in sales, while supermarkets have reported a 6-8 percent decline.