Special offers kept on store shelves

A number of retailers have indicated they will continue with special offers even though summer sales wound up yesterday, in a bid to offset a drop in revenues from the discount period. Retailers estimate that revenues during the summer sales were about 20 percent lower than last year, with profits dropping by as much as 50 percent. Tighter credit and rising unemployment as Greece’s economy slows sharply have hurt retail sales so far this year, in line with broader eurozone trends. The decline in economic activity has prompted a large number of businesses to shut down. The Piraeus Chamber of Commerce, which has some 14,000 active members, has deleted 515 business from its member’s register in the January-to-August period. Meanwhile, data from the National Statistical Service (NSS) showed yesterday that retail sales by volume countrywide fell 14.2 percent year-on-year in June after a 14.4 percent drop in May. Retail sales by revenue dropped 13.4 percent year-on-year in June after a 13.8 percent drop in the previous month. Economists said that private consumption continues to shrink at double-digit rates, reflecting the effect of uncertainty on consumer sentiment, deteriorating conditions in the labor market and uncertainty arising on the fiscal front.