This year again, the sales during January caused a minor start of the year 2017. During the first month of 2017 we experienced non-typical winter weather, by which Belgium keeps on struggling with unusual weather conditions during important fashion months. Luckily, February and especially March provided the necessary growth, allowing us to end the first quarter of 2017 with a more or less stable -0.6% in value.
During the sales month, not one category was able to grow, ending January with a big loss compared to January 2016 of 14mio EUR. This dip was quickly converted by the Belgian consumer to growth during the next two months, with even an increase of +4.2% in March. Within this last month of Q1, a lot was spent on clothing reaching a total growth of +4.7% for this category.
The sport shoes provided, thanks to growth in February and March, a total positive growth within this category in Q1 of +2.7%. Also personal accessories including jewelry, handbags, scarves and gloves, sunglasses, … continue to show a very stable growth in 2017 with +4.1% at the end of Q1. Both categories, together with the women’s (+1%) and men’s clothing (+1.9%), are responsible for the fact that we were able to end the first 3 months of 2017 more or less stable.
During April we experienced unusual little rain, which might be positive to continue the growth of March for the next months.
Wim Boesmans – Head of POS Measurement