Welcome again to our Retail Reports of the fourth quarter of 2015! Are you eager to find out how the Belgian non-food market closed the year?
It closes the year with a decrease in the last quarter of 2015. We noted an index of 98.7 compared to the same period last year.
With a bad start in the first quarter of 2015, everybody knew that the Home Improvement market would have to fight the whole year to keep on track. An excellent second quarter in 2015 was the air needed to go full power in the second half of 2015. In Q3 we could perpetuate the results. In the last quarter we seemed to go for a straight win, till the results from November came in. With sales dropping -3.3 % in this month, all the pressure was on a good performance in December.
As predicted in the previous Retail Reports, the last quarter turned out to be decisive for a positive year ending, or not. Unfortunately for the Fashion business, the weather was such that sales received a beating: -3.1% in value. The exception were sport’s shoes (+22%), a segment showing strong growth all year long, whereas all other segments are declining.
The sales of paper books in Flanders grew slightly by 0.2% during the year 2015. The most significant growth was in comic books and non-books.
While the movie business is slightly declining and the gaming business is remaining stable, we see a positive trend in the music business.
2015 has been another excellent year for Small Domestic Appliances, with a strong over-all performance.
MDA had a record breaking year. In 6 out of 9 product categories the total sales value was higher than ever before. As opposed to the final quarter of 2014, last year’s Q4 did beat average year growth. All retailers and manufacturers concerned are especially relieved that dropping prices are a thing of the past.
In line with the evolutions of Q3/2015, we also notice a downward trend in sales of smartphones in the Belgian market in the last quarter of 2015: 1% less devices were sold in Q4/2015 compared to Q4/2014!
During the last quarter of 2015 the IT and Office Equipment market decreased in value by nearly -2.4%. For the whole of 2015, we noticed a decline of -3%.
During the first 3 quarters of 2015 we noted a double digit decline in volume and turnover for the most important product group of the Consumer Electronics business: Flat Panel TV. Due to some strong promotions by Belgian operators there is a turnaround in the last quarter of the year.
To help you prepare for future consumer demand, we have chosen the ten key Tech Trends we believe will have the most impact on consumer needs and behavior in 2016 and beyond.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, several major issues preoccupied consumers and the media, with discussions centering on the refugee crisis, the Paris attacks, and especially the improving economic figures in almost all European countries, as well as the fact that energy costs were still extremely low. From September to December 2015, the consumer climate index for the European Union increased by 1.9 points to 12.2 points.