William Malcolm

Czech Retail Sales Up 7.4% In April

In April this year, retail sales rose by 7.4 percent year on year, seasonally adjusted. Previously, sales in March grew by 7.5 percent, according to revised data. This was announced today by the Czech Statistical Office (CSO). Compared to last April, shops in clothing and footwear improved the most, with sales rising by 80 percent. Last spring, the operation of stores was severely limited due to anti-epidemic measures. In April this year, they were able to open stores with children’s clothing and footwear, and according to the CZSO, the stores were also helped by the expansion of online sales. Revenues from the sale and repair of motor vehicles increased by 67.1 percent year-on-year. According to analysts, the situation in retail will continue to improve.

“Sales of non-food goods increased by 14 percent, sales of fuels by 13.1 percent. All major assortments of non-food goods grew. Sales of clothing and footwear increased the most, which fell sharply last April,” said CZSO Director of Services Statistics Marie Boušková. “Motor vehicle sales have also been showing high year-on-year growth for the second month in a row. On the contrary, food sales have decreased slightly,” she added.

“The year-on-year growth in sales of non-food goods was due to the low comparison base last April and at the same time gradually introduced sales via the Internet through a number of brick-and-mortar stores,” statisticians said in a CZSO report. Last March, the first cases of covid-19 appeared in the Czech Republic, and the government subsequently imposed strict restrictions, including the closure of stores. In April 2020, year-on-year retail sales fell by almost a tenth, according to unadjusted CZSO data. In April this year, on the other hand, unadjusted sales rose by 7.5 percent year on year.

In addition to clothing and footwear stores, sales in computer and communication equipment stores increased significantly in April compared to last year, by 30.6 percent. Sales of stores with products for culture, sports and recreation increased by 20.7 percent, sales of cosmetics and toiletries by 18.8 percent and sales of pharmaceutical and medical goods by 11.2 percent. Sales of stores with household products increased by 1.4 percent. Online stores recorded an overall year-on-year increase in sales of 14.2 percent.

Specialized grocery stores achieved sales growth of 7.8 percent. On the other hand, non-specialized food stores with a predominance of food fell by 1.7 percent year on year in April.

Seasonally adjusted sales and repairs of motor vehicles increased by about two thirds year-on-year in April. Gross sales of vehicles, including spare parts, increased by 73.9 percent and sales of vehicle repairs by 46.1 percent.

Month-on-month, seasonally adjusted retail sales increased by 0.7 percent. Revenues from non-food products increased by 2.8 percent and from fuels by 1.7 percent. By contrast, food sales fell 2.4 percent. Adjusted sales and repairs of motor vehicles increased by two percent month-on-month.