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Bruchsal 20.02.2019

Germany’s brick-and-mortar retail turnover to grow by €3.4 bil. in 2019

GfK’s regional retail turnover prognosis

GfK forecasts a slight nominal growth of 0.8 percent for Germany's brick-and-mortar retail turn-over in 2019. In addition to Germany’s largest cities, several mid-sized cities offer favorable retail conditions with high turnover potential.

GfK’s study “GfK Retail Turnover 2019” forecasts a turnover volume of €423.1 bil. for Germany’s brick-and-mortar retail in 2019. Compared to the previous year, GfK anticipates a rise in retail turnover of €3.4 bil., which corresponds to a slight nominal increase of 0.8 percent.

Germany’s regional distribution of turnover

Brick-and-mortar retail turnover is most concentrated in Germany’s districts with the largest populations. The top spots go to the metropolises of Berlin, Hamburg and Munich: Germany’s capital is the undisputed frontrunner with a retail turnover of more than €18.9 bil., which equates to 4.48 percent of the country’s total retail turnover. Hamburg places second with a retail turnover of €11.5 bil. (2.71 percent), followed by Munich with €11.1 bil. (2.62 percent). Fourth and fifth places go to the urban district of Cologne (1.70 percent) and the Hannover region (1.59 percent), while the urban districts of Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf each have approximately one percent of Germany’s total retail turnover.

Top 20 districts for total retail turnover

turnover ranking urban district (UD) / rural district (RD) inhabitants retail turnover in mil. €share of total brick-and-mortar retail turnover
1Berlin UD3,613,49518,938.94.48%
2Hamburg UD1,830,58411,470.52.71%
3Munich UD1,456,03911,106.12.62%
4Cologne UD1,080,3947,202.31.70%
5Hannover region1,152,6756,709.61.59%
6Frankfurt am Main UD746,8784,461.21.05%
7Stuttgart UD632,7434,232.81.00%
8Düsseldorf UD617,2804,216.01.00%
9Nuremberg UD515,2013,564.20.84%
10Dortmund UD586,6003,442.00.81%
11Essen UD583,3933,383.10.80%
12Bremen UD568,0063,204.7 0.76%
13Recklinghausen RD616,8243,152.7 0.75%
14Aachen City region554,0683,090.50.73%
15Dresden UD551,0723,043.80.72%
16Rhine-Sieg-Kreis RD599,0562,846.4 0.67%
17Leipzig UD581,9802,776.6 0.66%
18Mettmann RD485,4092,621.20.62%
19Rhine-Neckar-Kreis RD546,7452,571.90.61%
20Ludwigsburg RD542,6302,555.90.60%

source: GfK Retail Turnover Germany 2019; UD = urban district; RD = rural district

Germany's top 20 districts comprise one-fourth of the nation's total brick-and-mortar retail turnover, while the top 10 districts alone make up almost 18 percent. The stronger a retail location, the greater its ability to draw consumers. When choosing where to shop, consumers seek a large selection, opportunities to find good deals and an appealing urban retail experience. But such retail hotspots frequently have fierce competition, leading to a surplus offering for certain segments and target groups. Rent levels are also often very high, assuming suitable spaces can be found at all.

Given these factors, smaller cities are of ever greater importance to expansion-oriented retailers. Mid-sized cities with a wide range of services and administrative functions for the surrounding area can command per capita retail turnover volumes twice that of the national average (€5,110). Such is the case for the urban districts of Würzburg, Passau and Straubing, which lead the district rankings for per capita turnover potential in 2019. With a per capita retail turnover 1.5 times the national average, the urban district of Mannheim – a large city with more than 300,000 inhabitants – also places among the top 20 districts.

Top 20 districts for per capita retail turnover

index ranking urban district (UD) / rural district (RD) inhabitants retail turnover in mil. € retail turnover index
1 Würzburg UD 126,635 1,303.3 201.4
2 Passau UD 51,781 518.8 196.1
3 Straubing UD 47,586 473.3 194.6
4 Weiden i.d.OPf. UD 42,543 404.6 186.1
5 Trier UD 110,013 1,043.1 185.5
6 Schweinfurt UD 53,437 501.3 183.6
7 Rosenheim UD 63,080 576.6 178.9
8 Ingolstadt UD 135,244 1,205.6 174.4
9 Kempten (Allgäu) UD 68,330 597.9 171.2
10 Zweibrücken UD 34,270 299.8 171.2
11 Koblenz UD 113,844 989.7 170.1
12 Landshut UD 71,193 614.4 168.9
13 Regensburg UD 150,894 1,284.8 166.6
14 Heilbronn UD 86,556 717.2 162.6
15 Flensburg UD 88,519 722.2 159.6
16 Memmingen UD 43,470 349.7 157.4
17 Aschaffenburg UD 69,928  558.2 156.2
18 Hof UD 45,950 363.0 154.6
19 Kaiserslautern UD 99,684 785.2 154.1
20 Mannheim UD 307,997 2,375.9 151.0

source: GfK Retail Turnover Germany 2019; UD = urban district; RD = rural district; 100 = national average

Note: The per capita values represent a purely mathematical benchmark, because retail at the respective locations is by no means driven solely by the local inhabitants. Insight into the retail drawing power of the regions in question can nonetheless be gained by correlating retail turnover with population size.

About the study

GfK Retail Turnover reveals the regional distribution of brick-and-mortar retail turnover. In contrast to GfK Purchasing Power, which is calculated at consumers’ places of residence, GfK Retail Turn-over is calculated at the points of sale. The retail turnover values exclude automobile and fuel sales as well as online and mail-order trade.

GfK annually calculates GfK Retail Turnover for every regional level as a total value and per capita value in euros and as an index (German average = 100). These calculations are carried out for all of Germany's urban and rural districts, postcodes and municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants.

The study "GfK Retail Turnover" is also available for many other European countries.

Additional information on GfK’s regional market data can be accessed here.

Print-quality illustrations can be found here.

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