Retail trade index
28. Jun 2023
Rising prices continue to affect retail sales of clothing and footwear

Consumer price growth is coming down, but prices remain high, and that is reflected in retail sales. Although the highest price hikes in the three main commodity groups were registered in groceries, sales of clothing have been affected the most by rising prices.

Retail sales figures (listed here in nominal values converted to real values) are divided into the following three main commodity groups: ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’, ‘clothing and footwear’ and ‘furnishings and household equipment’.

The annual inflation rate topped at 10.1% in Q4 2022 and has since dropped to 8.3% for Q1 2023.

Retail prices in ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’ went up 13% from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023. In nominal prices, sales in this group increased by 9%. By subtracting the inflation rate, we get the real price of the volume of sold goods. The real price of ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’ dropped 4% in this period. In other words, although the sales value increased from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, the sales volume went down 4%.


Prices in ‘furnishings and household equipment’ increased by 9% from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023. Sales in nominal prices went up 14%. Converted into real prices, sales increased by 4%.


Prices in the ‘clothes and footwear’ group continue to be affected by rising prices. Although prices in this group only went up 2% in the past year, sales in nominal prices fell 12%. Converted into real prices, sales dropped a full 14%.


In general, ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’ saw the biggest price hikes, going up by 13% year-on-year. The lowest price increase was in ‘clothing and footwear’, up 2%. Despite this, sales in ‘clothing and footwear’ dropped 14%, while sales in ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’ only dropped 4%. This same trend has been in play in the past quarters: rising consumer prices – especially apparent in groceries – affect clothing sales more than grocery sales.


  • Indices show the percentage changes from one year to another with a base year set at 100. The difference between two years and comparisons with the base year are measured in percentages.
  • Nominal prices: the price paid for a product or service at the time of the transaction. Nominal prices reflect the buying power in the year in which the transaction occurred.
  • Real prices are adjusted for inflation, giving an indication of sales volume.
  • Sales figures reveal the turnover of companies offering goods and services in the various commodity groups.
  • Seasonally adjusted figures are modified to eliminate the effect of seasonal influences. Some months have high levels of seasonal fluctuations, making it difficult to adjust for seasonal influences.
  • The trend describes the measured figures, adjusted for seasonal changes and other random factors. 
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