The biggest opponents of the Swiss retail trade were once again the foreign online trade and the strong Swiss franc last year. Overall, retail sales stagnated at 0.1 percent. Sales in the clothing and footwear sector were hit hardest by 4.5 percent, as the CS economists write in the study published on Tuesday. No wonder, because here the German online giant Zalando continued to spread.
Zalando was already responsible for 44 percent of foreign online sales in 2018. Last year, the giant from Berlin increased its sales by a further 7 percent to CHF 900 million, the CS economists estimate.
The music plays online
While the Swiss retail trade continued to lose ground in the non-food area (-0.3 percent sales), the food area increased slightly by 0.5 percent. According to the study, discounters Denner, Aldi and Lidl have benefited the most from the growth in sales.
Online retail proved to be a growth driver for the established retailers. So Coop said on Monday an increase of 16 percent to CHF 914 million in online retail. Coop thus achieves 5 percent of retail sales on the Internet.
Online trading continues to have great potential throughout Switzerland, writes the CS. In the food sector, the share of online sales is only 3 percent. 18 percent in the non-food sector. Online trading could become even more attractive. For six percent of consumers, delivery times are too long or home delivery is a problem. Consumers are also skeptical about security concerns when paying online (10 percent).
No trend reversal
The CS economists do not expect a turnaround in the current year. Online providers can gain additional market share. But: “The majority should flow back to Zalando.”
Because of the persistently strong franc, shopping tourism should remain attractive for Swiss consumers. The expected increase in purchasing power due to the modest increase in health insurance premiums does not change this. Overall, the study authors for Swiss retail trade expect slight growth of 0.4 percent in 2020.
Price pressure in the furniture store is increasing
A ray of hope: the Swiss are likely to spend more money this year on experiences. For the leisure sector, economists expect a “significant increase in sales”. This was after the division swung to the top last year with growth of 3.1 percent.