Supermarkets recorded a 5% annual increase in their turnover during the first week of September, according to IRI Hellas statistics, in contrast to forecasts for a sales slump.
Market professionals view this result positively as the decline of tourism in July and August led many chains to losses in excess of 10% at tourist destinations, so expectations for the start of September were not at all high.
However, the IRI survey across 340 fast-moving consumer goods for the week from August 31 to September 6 showed sales of 120.5 million euros, against €114.81 million a year earlier. Since the start of the year supermarket turnover has been on a rising course, which so far has come to 9.7%.
The basket of those 340 products showed a rise across all categories. Food sales increased 3.4%, homeware products advanced 7.7% and personal care commodities grew 7%, while the category of other products posted a 10.1% rise.
The data revealed a consumer preference for larger stores or hypermarkets, for reasons of convenience and safety.
Supermarket chain officials have commented that sales at city stores have been satisfactory this month, while the islands and other tourist destinations have posted a decline on an annual basis. These views are now backed by the IRI figures, which show the region of Crete – that accounts for 7% of the national market – saw a 1.2% decline in early September.
By contrast, in Attica, which accounts for 51.9% of the national market’s turnover, there was a 5.3% increase, and in Thessaloniki, which has 10% of the market, sales posted an annual increase of 4.1% in the first week of September.
Supermarkets appear to have performed particularly well in the Peloponnese at the start of this month, with sales posting an annual expansion of 12.4%. This is expected to be bolstered soon by the opening of Masoutis stores in Patra.
There was also a significant 6.9% advance for supermarkets in central Greece, while in northern Greece (excluding Thessaloniki) there was a marginal rise of 0.4%.