POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Covid-19

Supermarkets performed well in 2020



The closure of shops deemed non-essential and the lockdown of the hotel and catering industry seem to have favoured the supermarket business  in Luxembourg. Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

The closure of shops deemed non-essential and the lockdown of the hotel and catering industry seem to have favoured the supermarket business  in Luxembourg. Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

Spared the strictest lockdown measures, the grand duchy’s large-scale retail sector saw turnover jump by 9.2% by the end of 2020 in Luxembourg.

Who does not remember empty shelves in supermarkets at the start of the March 2020 lockdown in Luxembourg? The sudden swell in demand brought in by panic buying certainly left its mark on the accounts of retailers: their turnover grew by 9.2% in value last year in Luxembourg, compared to a 2% increase observed a year earlier, minister for small and medium-size business Lex Delles (DP) said in a reply to MPs Mars Di Bartolomeo (LSAP) and Tess Burton (LSAP).

The second lockdown, albeit brief but coupled with the renewed closure of the hospitality sector until spring 2021, has also left its mark, as sales in supermarkets rose by 7.8% in the first quarter of this year, according to figures compiled by Eurostat and Statec.

Supermarket sales increased across the euro zone, but not at the same rate as in the grand duchy. They reached 4.6% for 2020 and 2.5% in the first quarter of 2021.

A catch-up effect for some

However, while the large-scale retail sector has done well, this is not the case for all segments. Fuel sales, for example, fell by 15.7% during 2020.

Other sectors experienced a catch-up effect following reopening. The audio-visual and computer equipment chains experienced a rise in sales of more than 14% in the second half of 2020, which helped erase a sluggish first half of the year. For the year as a whole, their turnover rose by 4%, according to data from the tax administration and Statec.