Czech retail sales have experienced a continuous decline, marking the sixteenth consecutive month of decreasing revenue. According to the Czech Statistical Office, retail sales in August dropped by 2.8%, a faster decline compared to July.
The decline in revenue can be attributed to lower sales of both non-food and food items. In a month-to-month comparison, retail sales in August decreased by 0.8%.
Non-food items witnessed a decline of 4.1% in revenue, while food sales decreased 3.2%. However, the sale of motor fuels has continued to experience growth since March, with a 3.7% increase compared to the previous year. It is worth noting that motor fuel prices have risen compared to last year.
One of the sectors greatly affected by the decline is clothing retail. Sales in this sector have dropped by a quarter compared to 2019. Despite this significant decrease in sales quantity, retailers have managed to generate more revenue due to substantial price increases, as noted by Petr Dufek, an economist at Creditas Bank.
Specialized household product stores experienced a decline of 9.3% in revenue, while clothing and footwear stores saw a decrease of 8.4%. Retailers dealing with computer and communication devices witnessed a 7.7% decline, and stores selling pharmaceutical and medical goods experienced a drop of 2.8% in revenue. Customers spent 1.3% less on culture, sports, and recreation products than the previous year.
On the other hand, the beauty and personal care sector observed an increase of 4.6% in revenue compared to August last year. Internet and mail-order businesses also experienced a rise in revenue, with a 2.8% increase.
The continuous decline in retail sales poses challenges for the Czech market, highlighting the need for innovative strategies to revive consumer spending and support the retail sector’s recovery.