Berlin (Reuters) – Despite the Corona lockdown in spring, the German retail sector is preparing for another year with sales growth in 2020.
The German Retail Association (HDE) expects in its forecast presented on Tuesday with a nominal increase of 1.5 percent to 552 billion euros. The HDE cashes in its gloomy forecast of the summer. In mid-July, he had been prepared for a big minus, with a decline in revenues of 40 billion euros in the area outside the grocery trade.
“After the dramatic decline in sales in the non-food trade in the first half of the year, the business situation in the retail sector has recovered significantly overall,” said the HDE. There is light and shadow: The sub-sectors affected by the lockdown are likely to lose 11 percent in sales – around 21 billion euros. In online retail, however, an increase of almost 15 percent to 68 billion euros is to be expected. The stationary trade – i.e. the shops – is likely to stagnate.
In view of the closed shops, the online share in the lockdown weeks in the non-food sector temporarily rose to almost 50 percent. In the following months, too, an above-average growth in sales has continued, driven primarily by higher purchase amounts, according to the HDE: “The mood of the crisis that prevailed during the lockdown is largely behind us.”
The HDE also sees positive effects from the federal government’s economic stimulus package. The child bonus of 300 euros per child in the second half of 2020 as well as the temporary VAT reduction created a small demand effect from which the retail sector benefited to a certain extent. However, the forecast growth in sales for the entire retail sector should not hide the fact that the existence of many companies in individual sectors is at risk, warned HDE managing director Stefan Genth. The challenges are particularly great at the inner-city locations.