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German organic market: upward trend continues

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In the turnover barometer, we take a close look at the turnover of participating organic specialist shops. © Pixabay/loufre

What does the sales barometer for organic shops in Germany look like in the second quarter of 2018? has found out: The turnover of the shops surveyed continues to rise.

With like-for-like growth of 5.1 percent, the companies covered by the Retail Barometer saw a rise in their daily sales in the second quarter of 2018. For comparison: the daily rise in sales in 2015 was almost double digit (9.4 per cent); in 2016 and 2017 growth was a very modest 1.3 and 1.4 per cent.

In 2017 Easter, including the week before Easter, fell in April but this year it was in March. The April result in 2018 shows a fall in daily sales of 1.4 per cent. In 2018 Whitsun was in the middle of May (last year at the beginning of June), and the average daily sales saw a rise of 7.5 percent. In June 2018 the Retail Barometer showed that participating companies achieved doble-digit growth in daily sales - 10.2 per cent.

One sales day more in the second quarter of 2018

As a consequence of the shifting number of opening days per month, in the second quarter of 2018 there was a difference between the daily sales and the absolute monthly sales: in April 2018 (with one sales day more) the monthly sales rose by 2.9 per cent. In May (with one sales day less) sales increased by 3.2 per cent. June 2018 (with one sales day more) was, with a rise of 14.6 per cent, the month with the strongest growth in sales. So for the second quarter of 2018 the monthly sales rose by 6.7 per cent.

Sales development and company type

In the second quarter of 2018 we see different developments in the various types of company:

Farm shops

At the beginning of this year farm shops had already achieved growth in sales of over 13 per cent. In the second quarter of  2018 growth of 12 per cent was again the best sales trajectory.

Specialist wholefood stores

Growth achieved by the small wholefood shops and the specialist wholefood shops came to 5.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 (after a rise of 10 per cent at the beginning of the year).

Organic supermarkets

The organic suoermarkets too increased their sales in the first quarter of  2018 by 10 per cent; in the second quarter the rise in their daily sales came to 4.7 per cent.

Diagram: Retail Barometer second quarter 2018

Conclusion: industry still in transition phase

Up to the third quarter of 2015 the quarterly growth recorded by the industry was sometimes double-digit, after which our reports were for a year and a half mainly about stagnating sales. In the last nine months the tide has turned again and we can once again report pleasing growth in sales. The first six months of 2018 showed like-for-like sales growth of 7.9 per cent.

The industry continues to find itself in a time of transition, with the market for organic food being fought over with increasing vigour. In the traditional retail food trade we have seen considerable expansion of organic ranges in 2017 and 2018  and its current high level of advertising appears to be (still) benfiting the wholefood sector too.

In this phase it is increasingly important for retailers in owner-managed specialist wholefood stores to work intensively on creating their own specific profile, plus ongoing improvements to store ambience, product ranges and staff expertise and, above all, on convincing customers by adopting a proactive individual approach.




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