The decline in shop turnover during the summer sales period this year, which ended on Wednesday, was the largest in the last three years, down an average 25 percent against 2010, while in some areas the drop reached 60 percent, the National Confederation of Greek Trade (ESEE) said on Thursday.
Turnover on the commercial market during the extended summer sales period is at least 25 percent lower than last year, despite hefty discounts, while last year's decline against 2009 was 15 percent.
Deeply hit by the economic crisis and deep recession, Greek shopowners had been looking to the sales to generate much-needed revenues, which have dropped sharply in recent months as a result of austerity measures that have caused shoppers to restrict purchases to the bare necessities, and are offering reductions as much as 70 percent off original prices.
The branches with the heaviest turnover declines compared with last year's summer sales period are: furniture, household goods and electrical appliances (-14 percent), cosmetics and pharmaceuticals (-13 percent), clothing and footwear (-10 percent) and books and stationery (-10 percent).
The above figures are the result of a survey by ESEE's survey institute in 84 merchant associations throughout the country on the 2011 summer sales.
ESEE said this was the biggest slump in the last three years, with eight out of 10 merchants citing turnover declines of up to 60 percent, and only two out of 10 citing turnover levels equal to last year's. ESEE said that the shops recording levels equal to 2010 were in holiday islands popular with foreign tourists.