Bermuda Retail Sales Show Worrying Trend

Bermuda Retail Sales
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Bermuda Retail Sales Show Worrying Trend

With one exception, Bermuda retail sales have fallen every October since 2016, government figures show. Only in 2020 did the month record an increase.

The Retail Sales Index press statement released Friday night said October’s retail sales fell 6.6 per cent compared to last year.

And that’s not the only disturbing trend.

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The government reported that volume sales for apparel stores decreased an incredible 17.4 per cent in October, when compared with October 2020.

That was the sixth consecutive year of October declines for apparel stores, most of which are double digit reductions, when compared with the same month of prior years.

The graph shows the dollar value of sold goods at current retail market prices, but adjusted to eliminate the effect of price change.

The Department of Statistics document said for October 2021: “Sales (for apparel stores) were comparatively weaker than the previous year as retailers reported that the Covid-19 pandemic continued to negatively impact sales as well as the volume of customers visiting their stores. In value terms, sales fell 16.3 per cent in October 2021.”

But a look back over past Octobers, revealed a decline every year going back to 2016, when it dropped 22.8 per cent as compared to October 2015.

It was down again 2017 (1.9 per cent), 2018 (7.8 per cent), 2019 (14 per cent), and 2020 (11.9 per cent), meaning apparel stores are selling in October a mere fraction of what they once did.

In value terms, retail sales decreased to an estimated $96.2 million compared to last year (October 2020).

Meanwhile, overseas declarations increased 13.6 per cent compared to October 2020.

The government said the rise in the value of selected overseas declarations was influenced mostly by higher imports by households via sea, related to clothing, footwear and motorboats.

Retail sales show worrying trend  Royal Gazette


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Dean Nestor

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