Across the 21 European countries measured, sales values fell sharpest in Switzerland (-1.6% year-on-year) and Portugal (-1.3%). A further four markets – Finland, Ireland, Germany and the Czech Republic – also experienced value deflation. At the other end of the scale, the highest rises were in Turkey (+9.2%) and Hungary (+3.1%).
“Sales values are being kept in check by a combination of things,” said Nielsen’s European director of retail insights Jean-Jacques Vandenheede. “Production costs are falling thanks to lower oil prices, and retailers are still employing heavy promotional activity to combat the increased popularity of the discounters. Furthermore, almost three in ten Europeans are switching to cheaper grocery brands to save money.”
Of the big five western European markets, Spain (+2.7%) had the highest nominal growth, followed by Germany and France (both +1.5%). Only four European countries experienced declines in nominal growth: Switzerland (-2.3%), Finland (-1.1%), UK (-0.5%) and Slovakia (-0.2%).