RETAIL sales in Slovakia in September were 9.2 percent less than a year ago. When compared with August, they increased by 1.1 percent. The TASR newswire published seasonally adjusted data from the Slovak Statistics Office on November 4.
Dávid Dereník, an analyst with UniCredit Bank Slovakia, ascribed the development in retail sales in the country to increasing unemployment.
“The times when the jobless rate in Slovakia was single-digit are over and the 12.5 percent unemployment rate has been affecting retail sales,” he said.
Unemployment reduces or changes purchases by households and Dereník noted that there is a growing preference for hypermarkets and retail chains rather than small shops.
While sales in retail chains increased in September, sales of food, fruit and tobacco products in small shops decreased, according to Dereník. He added that this means that during difficult economic times households desert more expensive local shops and prefer larger shopping trips to more distant hypermarkets, which draw customers by means of discounts or loyalty cards.
Even though so-called shopping tourism, when Slovaks go to neighbouring countries like the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to enjoy lower prices due to the weaker currencies of these countries, has decreased it still remains a negative factor for retailers in Slovakia, Dereník believes.