How has the retail business developed

Retail has developed stably

"The Austrian retail sector has developed steadily in the past year," says Peter Buchmüller, chairman of the federal trade division of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Together with federal division managing director Iris Thalbauer and Wolfgang Ziniel from the Institute KMU Research Austria, he presented the data on the retail business development in the Austrian retail sector in the past year. The basis is the analysis of the sales figures from around 4500 retail stores, which the Institute KMU Research Austria carried out on behalf of the WKO's federal trade division.

According to this, stationary retail - i.e. the trade with its stores throughout Austria - was able to increase sales in 2019 by a nominal 1.3% compared to 2018 to around 73.2 billion euros. This means that sales growth was higher than in 2018. Retail researcher Wolfgang Ziniel with details: "41% of retail stores achieved sales growth in 2019, 22% reported a stable development, 37% a decline."

In 2019, the retail trade with construction and do-it-yourself supplies (+ 2.8%) and the retail trade with cosmetic products (+ 2.7%) achieved the highest sales growth. In third place follows the food trade (+ 2.2%), the retail sector with the highest sales volume. In the retail trade with sporting goods (+1.6%), the increase in sales is also higher than the retail average. And the clothing retail sector also exceeded the previous year's sales level in 2019 (+ 0.4%). For the first time in two years, retail sales of electrical appliances, computers and photographic items showed a slight increase (+ 0.2%).

The number of employees in the Austrian retail sector in 2019 rose by 1700 people or 0.5%.

Online trading with laughing and crying eyes

Iris Thalbauer dedicates herself to the development of the Austrian Internet retail trade in the past year: “And that is very gratifying: In 2019 the domestic retail trade achieved an online growth of 6%; this corresponds to the growth rates of 2017. “In total, the annual turnover in 2019 in Austrian internet retail rose to around 3.5 billion euros (gross). “That is 4.6% of the total retail volume in Austria. However, the total expenditure of Austrians in internet trading is much higher. Well over half of online orders go abroad, that is around 4.2 billion euros. Here, however, there are unequal competitive conditions in tax and duty law. The intention in the government program to push ahead with the introduction of a digital permanent establishment at European and international level is an important step from the point of view of retail, ”emphasizes Thalbauer.

How do retailers see the future? At 83%, the majority of those surveyed see stable, positive business development over the next few months. 5% expect an improvement, 12% expect it to get worse.