French retail sales fall in December

Related tags Sales Retailing Milk Euro

One less Saturday than in 2001 had a significant effect on French
hypermarket and supermarket sales in December, according to the
latest figures. A Saturday in December can often see sales 35 per
cent higher than in the rest of the year.

French retail sales slowed down in December compared to the same month in 2001, due mainly to fewer selling days in such an important month.

Hypermarket sales were down 1.3 per cent while supermarket sales slid 1.9 per cent, mainly due to the fact that there was one less Saturday in December 2002 than in 2001. In the run up to Christmas, Saturday sales can be as much as 35 per cent higher than during the rest of the year.

The introduction of the euro at the start of the year also had a significant impact on year-on-year sales, with 2001 purchases boosted by consumer desires to use up their old French francs prior to the start of the new currency last January.

The continued threat of terrorism, and the resulting government security measures (called the plan Vigipirate) introduced in mid-December also meant that sales were down compared to 2001.

Dairy products, meat, bread and pastries all benefited from strong sales during the month, while non-food sales were led by multimedia products, in particular DVDs.

The FCD, which compiles the sales data, said that for 2002 as a whole, hypermarket sales were up 1.3 per cent, while supermarket sales increased by 2 per cent.

The FCD also gave the latest data on convenience store sales (for November), which showed a 3.1 per cent rise compared to the same month a year earlier. For the year to November, sales were up 2.6 per cent.

Related topics Market Trends

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