Retail: Significant increase in sales despite the corona pandemic

retail trade
Significant increase in sales despite the corona pandemic

Despite the lockdown, the retail sector did not suffer any losses in sales, on the contrary.

© Leoniek van der Vliet /

Despite the Corona year 2020, retail has grown significantly. However, not all areas benefit from the increase in sales.

The fears of a horror scenario in retail due to the corona-related lockdown do not come true at first. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, German retailers even increased their sales significantly in the past year: they earned between 5.1 and 5.5 percent more than in 2019. According to the "Handelsblatt", this is the strongest increase since these statistics were collected in 1994. These estimates by the federal authority already take into account the existing lockdown since mid-December.

Even after adjustment for prices, Real sales rose by between 3.9 and 4.3 percent. However, not all areas would benefit equally from the increase in sales. Stefan Genth, managing director of the retail association HDE, explains that downtown retailers were making heavy losses, but these were more than offset in the online, food and furniture sectors. The area of ​​online and mail order business alone achieved a sales increase of 24 percent from January to November.

The retail trade with goods of various kinds – for example supermarkets – increased by 8.5 percent. The trade in textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods, however, collapsed by 21.1 percent, as did the sales of department stores, which received 8.9 percent less. In general, according to the "Handelsblatt", the Christmas business went surprisingly well. In November sales had already risen by 1.9 percent in real terms compared to the previous month. Experts previously expected a minus of 2 percent.