Statistics: Retail trade enterprises have adjusted to restrictions

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Shoppers in Ülemiste keskus. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

There was a 23 percent increase in retail sales in April 2021 compared to the same time period last year, data from Statistics Estonia shows. The rise in sales shows retail trade enterprises have adjusted to restrictions.

In April 2021, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was €656 million. Compared to April 2020, turnover increased by 23 percent at constant prices – the increase was mainly the result of both trade enterprises and consumers adjusting to the restrictions related to the coronavirus crisis.

Jaanika Tiigiste, lead analyst at Statistics Estonia, said the increase in turnover was primarily due to the very low reference base of April last year and the changes in people's habits.

"Shopping centers were closed in April last year and this year too, but now retail trade enterprises were better prepared for the restrictions and opened outdoor sales areas and online stores and also offered curbside pick-up. Also, people moved around more, which helped to increase the turnover of enterprises engaged in the retail sale of automotive fuel," Tiigiste said.

The turnover of stores selling manufactured goods increased by 29 percent compared to April 2020 and grew in all economic activities.

The biggest growth at 57 percent was recorded in the turnover of other specialized stores selling predominantly computers and their accessories, telecommunications equipment, books, sports equipment, games, toys, flowers and plants.

The increase in turnover was also above average in stores selling second-hand goods and in non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale) and in stores selling via mail order or the internet – the turnover of these stores grew by 45 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

Compared to April 2020, turnover increased by 12 percent in grocery stores and by 40 percent in enterprises engaged in the retail sale of automotive fuel.

In April compared to March, the turnover of retail trade enterprises decreased by 1 percent. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, turnover increased by 1 percent. In the first four months of 2021, the turnover of retail trade enterprises increased by 9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

Turnover volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2011 - April 2021 (2015-100). Source: Statistics Estonia.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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