What is a retail business in 2020

Inner cities as retail locations under pressure - HDE forecast for 2020: sales increase of 2.5%

January 31, 2020

Retail sales in Germany will grow for the eleventh year in a row in 2020. The German Trade Association (HDE) is forecasting an increase of 2.5 percent compared to the previous year. Online retailing remains the growth driver. Medium-sized downtown retailers are increasingly getting into trouble. 39,000 retail locations have already had to close.

“The general economic conditions for consumption are still good. Consumption remains the driver for the economy as a whole, ”says HDE Managing Director Stefan Genth. The current HDE survey of 500 retail companies of all sizes and locations shows that around a third of retailers start the year with positive business expectations. 30 percent expect a worse course than 2019. The expectations are particularly good among companies that are active both in brick-and-mortar retail and online.

Overall, the HDE is forecasting retail sales growth of 2.5 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year to around 557 billion euros. Online trading contributes 63 billion euros to this and increases its sales by around nine percent. Data from the HDE Location Monitor 2020 show that customers spend less time in brick-and-mortar stores to shop and spend more money on the Internet. As a result, stationary retail has lost 39,000 locations since 2010. “Whole city centers get into trouble. Retailers, politics and society are called upon to save the city centers and must pull together, ”said Genth. Suitable framework conditions are required so that the dealers in the city center can continue to be successful. This is not possible without a well-developed infrastructure such as roads, bicycle paths and local public transport in order to ensure the accessibility of the city centers. In addition, the trade demands more reliable rules for the Sunday opening in order to be able to inspire customers for a stroll through the city center with events. Genth: "When trade dies, city centers and with it a piece of home die." Also because of its great social commitment of one billion euros per year, trade is a mainstay in many cities, towns and communities.

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