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Apparel sales 33.4 per cent lower since pandemic

Falling sales: shoppers are buying less in the island's stores

Although the overall volume of sales increased for the first time in five months in November, retailers calls to “buy Bermuda” seem to be falling on deaf ears.

The November Retail Sales Index showed the value of sales increased $5.7 million, or 5.6 per cent, to $98.1 million, but much of the increase was due to the 6.1 per cent retail inflation rate.

Statistics from the Ministry of Economy and Labour showed the volume of sales for apparel stores fell 1.7 per cent year-over-year in November, while the value of sales increased by 2.2 per cent. Compared with pre-pandemic levels in November 2019, the volume of apparel sales was 33.4 per cent lower.

But a $1.1 million increase in courier imports was attributed to higher importation of clothing as well as precious and semi-previous jewellery and parts.

Overseas declarations increased 30.4 per cent compared with November 2021, and were 44.1 per cent higher compared with four years ago. Meanwhile, returning resident declarations at the airport increased by $1.6 million to $4.8 million.

Retail sales overall rose by an estimated $98 million, a 6.1 per cent rise in sales value, ascribed to an elevated rate of inflation.

The sales volume and value of building materials increased 1.3 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively. Sales volume for this sector was 6.5 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

While food volume sales were down by 6.3 per cent, liquor store sales volume rose 3.2 per cent, with a sales value increase of 1.2 per cent. Liquor store sales were one of the few things selling better now than before the pandemic with sales of liquor 14.8 per cent higher compared to November 2019.

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Published March 01, 2023 at 2:36 pm (Updated March 01, 2023 at 2:36 pm)

Apparel sales 33.4 per cent lower since pandemic

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