Retail sales rise for ninth consecutive month
Retail sales rose 7.7 per cent in March, the ninth consecutive month that the volume of sales has grown on a year-on-year basis.
The value of sales for the month was $105.7 million, which was a 9.8 per cent improvement.
The same month in 2020 saw Bermuda enter its first period of restrictions in response to the emerging Covid-19 pandemic.
Wayne Furbert, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “Six of the seven retail sales sectors experienced positive growth in March. This was led by the motor vehicle stores, which experienced the largest sales volume increase of 117.7 per cent as a larger inventory of vehicles were available for sale.”
Apparel stores sales increased 72.2 per cent in sales volume. The growth in sales has been associated to increased demand due to retailers being open for more days during March compared to store closures that began in the second half of March last year.
Building material stores had a 26.3 per cent jump in sales volume with increased contract sales and large customer projects.
The all other store types sector, which comprises a variety of stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals, marine supplies and tourist-related goods, had a 22.4 per cent increase in sales.
Liquor stores’ sales volume increased 13.1 per cent as households purchased larger amounts for consumption at home since restaurant and bars were limited primarily to outdoor service during March.
Sales volume for food stores decreased by 13.1 per cent, and this is said to be the result of households purchasing larger amounts in March last year due to initial uncertainty with the pandemic and the anticipation of government restrictions and stay-at-home orders.
Service stations had a 6.2 per cent sale volume increase, compared to a 12.1 per cent in the same month a year ago. The details were contained in the March 2021 Retail Sales Index publication from the Department of Statistics.
Mr Furbert said: “Total selected overseas declarations increased 40.6 per cent in March, compared to March 2020. The rise in overseas declarations was influenced by more imports of clothing by courier as well as higher imports of furniture, machinery, appliances and electrical equipment by sea.”
Click on Related Media for March 2021 Retail Sales Index publication PDF