As many EU countries closed non-essential shops towards the end of 2020, online sales rose 32.9% in November compared to the same month in 2019, according to data published by the bloc’s statistics office Eurostat.
Mail order and internet retail trade outperformed its 2019 track record throughout the year but rose again in November, likely linked to Christmas shopping coinciding with stricter virus rules in many EU countries.
Luxembourg had decided to keep shops open until 26 December, with retailers saying they benefitted from closures in neighbouring Belgium, France and Germany. Eurostat does not list online shopping increases in individual EU countries in its report.
Overall, retail trade was down 2% across the EU in November 2020 compared to the year before. The change was even more pronounced in the euro area only at a decline of 2.9%.
Luxembourg bucked the trend with retail sales 1.2% higher in November last year than in 2019. And November also proved better for retailers than October 2020 with retail trade rising 0.3% after declining since August.
Across the euro area, retail trade dipped 6.1% between October and November 2020, compared to a 5% decrease in the EU27.