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Retail in general: 2017 off to a good start


2017 started off on a positive note, with a total increase in the non-food sales of 1.4%, compared to the same period last year. Although the year 2016 rounded up a negative growth of 0.7%, it concluded on a positive momentum in its last quarter, of +2% compared to Q4 2015. Let us hope that this positive trend is here to stay, for a great 2017!

The comparison is based on the sum of all non-food markets measured by GfK POS Measurement.

Compared to the first quarter of last year, the total non-food market is trending slightly positively this Q1 2017, with a noted growth of 1.4%. This growth is mainly pushed by Media & Entertainment (+1.8%), Small Domestic Appliances (+6.9%) and Major Domestic Appliances (+4.2%). Home Improvement and Telecom noted good growth figures, but seem to be slowing down (+3.9%; +3.5%). Stationery and Books are struggling in this first quarter, respectively declining -4% and -4.6%.

In Consumer Electronics, the year starts off with a decline (-1%), mostly caused by a drop in television sales. This product group still carries the whole category, although upcoming hot topics such as drones can possibly brighten its future. In Telecom on the other hand, we still see positive growth numbers (+3.5%), although the enormous increase of smartphones sales is seemingly starting to slow down. Smaller product groups are catching our eye, for example core wearables.

One of the most remarkable trends during this first quarter is the drive we find in all products related to gaming! Not only did the new Nintendo console Switch boost sales in hardware, the trend that PSVR started, has a very positive result on Gaming Peripherals sales. In some product groups in IT, we note a similar trend: computers popular for gaming show a persistent increase and computer peripherals such as mice and keyboards are also able to gain from the gaming trend.

Next to the gaming segment, Major Domestic Appliances deserve a round of applause. All product groups from this category show green figures, in units as well as in value, resulting in a +4.2% value increase in comparison to Q1 2016. It seems that consumers are replacing their appliances faster than ever. Furthermore, a few stubborn trends continue to push the market: American fridges and range cookers are still increasing in popularity.

For the Home Improvement categories, Q1 resulted in a very positive upward trend of +3.9%. Sales particularly sky-rocketed within the Garden segment. A great start of the season for all outdoor products such as lawn mowers and barbecues. Let us hope spring is here to stay and warms us up for a perfect summer! 

Let’s wait and see what the rest of the year will surprise us with! I wish you all the best.

Evelien Van Aerschot – Consultant Retail


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Evelien van Aerschot