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Summer sales dragging

Retail sales were lower during the second week of the summer discounts compared to the first week of the season, according to a Greek commerce confederation ESEE survey.

ESEE said that 29 percent of traders that participated in the survey were not satisfied with their sales, while only 8 percent of them were content with the week’s turnover. ESEE used a sample of 227 shops in Athens, Thessaloniki and other major shopping districts of Attica.

Overall, turnover during the summer sales season was at the same levels or marginally lower compared to last year. Half of the traders (51 percent) said sales remained at last year's levels, 44 percent of them had lower turnover and only 5 percent of participants, mainly apparel and footwear shop owners, saw their sales rising.

According to regional commerce associations, ESEE said, retail sales in big cities such as Piraeus, Patras, Heraklion and Larissa fell by 10-20 percent, while in tourist destinations like Crete, Rhodes and Corfu retail market activity was subdued despite expectations for higher sales due to the increased number of visitors.

Commerce sector performance has not yet managed to keep up with tourism activity, ESEE pointed out citing the income tax that citizens were called to pay during the summer sales period as one of the reasons that “froze” the market.

ESEE reiterated that summer sales would last until the end of August and expressed its optimism that tourism and shopping activity would gear up by the end of the season.