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Retail in general: Growth during the last quarter of 2016, but a small decline for total 2016


We noticed an increase in non-food sales during the last quarter of 2016 of +2,0%, compared to the same period last year. When taking all quarters into account we measured a decline of 0,7% in 2016 for the non-food market. The comparison is based on the sum of all non-food markets measured by GfK POS Measurement.

The non-food market grew 2% during the last quarter of 2016, pushed by Small Domestic Appliances (+15,3% in Q4), Home Improvement (+3,5% in Q4), Major Domestic Appliances (+2,9%) and Telecom. Even struggling segments like Books and Fashion noted an increase during this final quarter (+0,9% in Q4; +3,7% in Q4). 

Unfortunately when looking back at the total year 2016 the non-food market couldn’t grow in comparison with the previous year (-0,7% YTD).  The uplift in TV sales during the Eurocup was offset by a the terrible drop in sales during the second half of the year which resulted in negative figures for the Consumer Electronics market (-3,7% YTD).  

Within the Media and Entertainment market the digital age continues to take its toll (-7,8% YTD). Despite the introduction of new consoles, innovations in Virtual Reality and the Retro gaming hype, the gaming segment couldn’t deliver the expected rise in sales. Nevertheless within the IT and Office market computer products oriented towards gaming noticed significant growth. On the other hand the big value drivers within IT, such as desktop, mobile computers and media tablets declined heavily, resulting in a negative outcome for 2016 (-4,9% YTD). 

Still, we also have positive news to share! Telecom keeps on growing quarter after quarter (+10,1% YTD), and the Domestic Appliances sales has not yet reached its endpoint( SDA+7,8% YTD; MDA +4,8% YTD). The SDA market, especially low oil Deep fryers and Handstick vacuum cleaners, performed outstanding in 2016. Major Domestic Appliances benefited from the ongoing cooking hype encouraging the consumer to spend more on high end appliances. 

Also the Book market enjoyed an uplift in Cookbook sales during the Holiday period thanks to this cooking hype, but couldn’t translate it into positive results for the whole 2016 (-1,3%). Last but not least, after a difficult year for the Home Improvement market, challenged by the bad weather conditions, could end the year with green number (+1,9%). Although this growth can be party explained by the expansion of individual shops, this certainly is a very promising sign and a good start for the year 2017! 

Let’s wait and see how market will evolve during the next quarter.  I wish you all the best.

Evelien Van Aerschot – Consultant Retail


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Evelien van Aerschot