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Flashback retail 2020 - The year in numbers

by Mark Faithfull

Last year saw a rebound in consumption after the concerted actions of European countries to limit the effects of the crisis offered strong glimmers of hope, according to European Retail Market H1 2020 from one of those agents, BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Although the early months of 2021 brought more challenges and lockdowns, its European retail industry overview pointed out that the main hope is that the rise in unemployment is short-term and mitigates quickly, because the subsequent impact on household confidence and the evolution of the virus will influence the strength of domestic demand that underpins retail sales.

It noted a 6% decline in European retail sales growth last year, compared with an uptick of 2.7% in 2019. It also anticipates an uneven recovery, with its retail impact assessment concluding that Germany leads the recovery but with concerns over Italy and Spain returning to pre-COVID-19 consumption levels.

In the meantime, as part of its retail sector overview the E-commerce Foundation predicted online sales across Europe to be up 13% for the year and BNP Paribas Real Estate also pointed to the introduction of 5G as another boost to online sales going forwards.

In this short retail industry overview, we have selected some of the key retail figures from the last year’s national, retail sector and continental research by the major international advisors, painting a snapshot of sentiment last year and a mixed picture of the challenges and potential for growth.

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