Coronavirus: Retail Sales Drop 24% in March with Confinement

Finance
Retail Sales Drop 24% in March with Confinement during the Coronavirus crisis

Retail sales in France fell 24% in March compared with February, over a period which included the start of confinement and the closing of certain stores during the last two weeks of the month.

Retail sales in France fell 24% in March compared with February, the Banque de France reported on Wednesday (April 15th). The period includes the start of confinement and the closing of certain stores during the last two weeks of the month.

According to provisional data published by the French central bank, the decline is 43.4% for industrial products and only 0.9% for food products, some of whose consumption has shifted from catering to individuals.

Over the last three months ended at the end of March compared to the previous three months, retail sales fell 7.2%, pulled down by industrial products (-14.6%), especially in the sectors of optics (-27.2%), new cars (-20.7%) and furniture (-20.6%), says the press release from the Banque de France, which does not provide sectoral details for the month of March alone.


Increased sales in supermarkets

The document also indicates that for the first quarter of 2020, the pharmacy was the exception and recorded an increase (+ 2.7%), as well as food products which increased by 3.2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

By distribution channel, the quarterly sales of the small trade decrease (-9.6%) and those of the large distribution increase (+1.7%).

Finally, sales growth in supermarkets (+ 7.4%) and hypermarkets (+ 1.7%) compensated for the significant drop observed in department stores (-19.3%) .

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