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Greece’s Summer Sales Turnover Low Despite Tourism

The ongoing energy crisis and increasing inflationary pressures impacted turnover for almost half of Greek retailers during the traditional summer sales period, said the Institute of Trade and Services (INEMY) recently.

More specifically, according to a report by INEMY, the scientific institute of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE), more than half of businesses (52 percent) offering discounts recorded lower sales compared to the corresponding period last year, 29 percent reported the same levels as in 2021, and 18 percent marked an increase in turnover.

According to a key finding, sales this year were up in popular tourist areas mainly on the islands but failed to fully offset losses elsewhere in the country created by the energy crisis, inflationary pressures and supply chain shocks.

“The significant increase in tourist arrivals and receipts has stimulated external demand both compared to 2020 but also to 2021. As a result, tourism markets are reporting considerably stronger recovery dynamics compared to regional markets, a fact that reflects geographical disparities that the energy crisis seems to be accelerating in the retail ecosystem,” said INEMY-ESEE analysts.

According to the report, 2 percent of businesses polled said they had surpassed pre-pandemic 2019 turnover levels this year, while 44 percent said they didn’t even come close to those figures.

In the meantime, 52 percent of shops reported a decline in customer numbers. For half of the businesses polled, July was the best month in terms of sales with the first two weeks of August showing an upward trend.

Sales for 61 percent of enterprises surveyed were lower than expected while 73 percent said the increase in electricity prices had impacted them greatly.

For 67 percent of businesses participating in the poll, operating costs in the last six months (from March onward) increased by 11 to 40 percent.

At the same time, soaring energy prices combined with supply chain disruptions led to higher supplier prices. For 80 percent of businesses polled, product price increases ranged from 6 to 30 percent from March 2022 onwards.

Nearly half of the businesses surveyed (45 percent) managed to absorb “to some extent” the increases in the prices of goods.

Last month, an Athens Traders Association (ESA) study found that six in 10 businesses reported increasing turnover in 2022 compared to 2021 boosted by strong tourist flows. Athens was among the winners.

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