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Post-pandemic shoppers spending 32.1% more overseas

Growth phase: courier service IBC/Zipx has seen a steady increase in people bringing in goods purchased overseas (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Local retailers have been begging shoppers to “buy Bermuda” for years, but the latest retail sales figures for February show they are barely paying attention.

Overseas declarations decreased 5 per cent in February compared to a year ago, but were 32.1 per cent higher than February 2019, according to Bermuda’s latest retail sales figures.

Earlier this month IBC/ZipX founder and chairman Glen Smith, told The Royal Gazette he has only seen business going in one direction – up. The company brings in packages for people who have purchased overseas.

“We are in a growth phase,” he said.

The monthly report from the Department of Statistics was largely gloomy, showing that, overall, the volume of retails sales in Bermuda fell by 3.4 per cent, but increased in value by $88.5 million.

Four out of seven sectors saw their sales volume drop. For example, building material stores’ sales volume decreased 15.8 per cent, 12 per cent below 2019 levels.

In the ‘all other store types’ sector, comprised of stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals and tourist-related goods, there was an 11.9 per cent decrease in sales volume. Sales for this sector registered 7 per cent below February 2019.

Liquor and car sales were the only bright spots in February’s picture.

Motor vehicle stores’ sales volume rose 16.2 per cent, compared to the same period last year. This was attributed to an increase in the sales of vehicles due to a larger inventory compared to 2022. It was also 16.2 per cent above the sales volume in February 2019.

Liquor sales volume also rose 14.2 per cent, and were above pre-pandemic levels.

The sales volume of clothing stores fell 9.3 per cent and was 19.8 per cent below what they were four years ago.

The sales volume for food stores fell 7.5 per cent, and decreased 8.5 per cent compared to February 2019.

Service stations’ sales volume increased 1.1 per cent from last year but was 5.3 per cent below pre-Covid times.

For the full report see related media.

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Published June 02, 2023 at 7:18 am (Updated June 02, 2023 at 7:18 am)

Post-pandemic shoppers spending 32.1% more overseas

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