Bruchsal 27.02.2018

Twenty districts comprise one-fourth of Germany's stationary retail turnover

GfK’s 2018 regional retail turnover prognosis

GfK’s latest prognosis of regional retail turnover in 2018 shows promising conditions for retail locations not just in Germany’s most populous metropolises, but also in several mid-sized cities.

GfK’s study “GfK Retail Turnover 2018” forecasts a 2018 turnover volume of €419.7 bil. for Germany’s stationary retail trade. This equates to a slight nominal increase of one percent compared to the previous year.

Many factors impact whether more money in real terms is available to retail. Industry-specific challenges such as trends in commodity and wholesale prices and especially the growth of online trade play an important role in this regard.

Regional distribution of turnover in Germany

As expected, Germany's most populous districts generate the highest retail turnover. Metropolitan areas such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich far outpace Germany’s other districts in terms of total retail turnover. With more than three million inhabitants, Germany’s capital Berlin has a retail turnover of €18.7 bil., which equates to 4.46 percent of the country’s total retail turnover. Hamburg has a retail turnover of €11.4 bil. (2.73%), and  Munich has €11.1 bil. (2.64%). Urban districts such as Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf each have one percent of Germany’s total retail turnover.

Top 20 districts for total retail turnover

ranking urban district (UD) / rural district (RD inhabitants retail turnover in mil. €share of total stationary retail turnover
1Berlin UD3,550,94818,712.64.46 %
2Hamburg UD1,798,65411,440.52.73 %
3Munich UD1,452,82611,098.72.64 %
4Cologne UD1,070,3577,234.61.72 %
5Hannover region1,146,2256,698.41.60 %
6Frankfurt am Main UD731,0094,430.01.06 %
7Stuttgart UD626,1444,232.21.01 %
8Düsseldorf UD611,3024,221.51.01 %
9Nuremberg UD510,4053,571.10.85 %
10Dortmund UD585,3523,499.40.83 %
11Essen UD583,7683,360.20.80 %
12Bremen UD563,2573,201.5 0.76 %
13Recklinghausen RD617,3643,148.5 0.75 %
14Aachen City region550,2613,034.80.72 %
15Dresden UD543,5013,007.30.72 %
16Rhein-Sieg-Kreis RD597,4752,813.4 0.67 %
17Leipzig UD564,3052,756.9 0.66 %
18Mettmann RD483,5812,584.50.62 %
19Rhein-Neckar-Kreis RD543,8892,516.90.60 %
20Ludwigsburg RD536,4802,504.20.60 %

source: GfK Retail Turnover Germany 2018; UD = urban district; RD = rural district

Germany's top ten districts comprise almost 18 percent of the nation's total stationary retail turnover, while the top 20 districts comprise approximately one-fourth. Once they achieve a certain critical mass, retail locations attract consumers from further afield due to a larger selection, opportunities to find good deals and an appealing shopping atmosphere. But these retail hotspots also have the most competition and highest rent levels, if there are suitable vacancies at all.

Given this, smaller locations can represent important growth opportunities for expansion-oriented retailers. Mid-sized cities that supply the surrounding area with goods and services can command per-capita retail turnover values twice that of the national average. This is the case in 2018 for the urban districts of Würzburg, Passau and Straubing, which lead the district rankings for per-capita turnover potential. With the exception of the urban district of Trier, the top ten spots are all held by Bavarian urban districts. But compared to the country’s large metropolises, these districts have much lower total retail turnover volumes due to the smaller number of inhabitants.

The highest-ranking city with more than 300,000 inhabitants in the per-capita turnover rankings is the urban district of Mannheim in twentieth place. This location has a per-capita turnover that is 1.5 times the national average. With a forecasted total retail turnover volume of approximately €2.4 bil., Mannheim ranks twenty-first in the volume-based rankings, which puts it just behind Ludwigsburg, a rural district with more than 500,000 inhabitants.

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 125,514 1,307.0 204.4
2 Passau UD 50,578 519.6 201.6
3 Straubing UD 46,727 472.1 198.3
4 Weiden i.d.OPf. UD 42,369 410.4 190.1
5 Schweinfurt UD 52,398 502.2 188.1
6 Trier UD 109,197 1,045.4 187.9
7 Rosenheim UD 62,108 581.4 183.7
8 Kempten (Allgäu) UD 67,028 602.1 176.3
9 Ingolstadt UD 132,545 1,182.2 175.0
10 Landshut UD 69,641 617.9 174.1
11 Regensburg UD 147,011 1,276.2 170.4
12 Zweibrücken UD 34,534 298.4 169.6
13 Koblenz UD 113,384 975.0 168.8
14 Flensburg UD 86,556 717.2 162.6
15 Hof UD 44,580 362.3 159.5
16 Aschaffenburg UD 69,080 560.0 159.1
17 Heilbronn UD 123,105 997.8 159.1
18 Memmingen UD 43,095 341.6 155.6
19 Kaiserslautern UD 98,894 775.9 154.0
20 Mannheim UD 304,362 2,369.9 152.8

source: GfK Retail Turnover Germany 2018; UD = urban district; RD = rural district; per-capita index (100 = national average)

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

About the study

GfK Retail Turnover shows the regional distribution of stationary retail turnover. In contrast to GfK Purchasing Power, which is calculated at consumers’ places of residence, GfK Retail Turnover refers to 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 volume as well as per inhabitant 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 found here.

Print-quality illustrations can be found here.

About GfK

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