Saturday, July 18, 2009

Business news:Shopping malls see 5.4% drop in sales

Commercial centers lose NIS 113 million in proceeds in first half of 2009 compared to first six months of last year; recovery recorded throughout June

Gali Berger, Calcalist
YNET News,7340,L-3746941,00.html

The first half of 2009 recorded a 5.4% drop in the sales of shopping centers in Israel compared to the first half of the previous year, according to data compiled by the Retail Information System (RIS). The fashion industry's sales fell by 7%. The overall sales of stores which are members of RIS, compared to similar stores, totaled NIS 1.8 billion (about $459 million) in the first half of the year – a drop of NIS 113 million ($29 million) compared to the first half of 2008. About NIS 90 million ($23 million) of the lost earnings are ascribed to the fashion industry.

While the first quarter of 2009 was badly affected by the recession and the late winter and left the goods on the shelves, the second quarter saw a recovery and a 14% rise in sales, although we are still talking about a 5.5% drop compared to the second quarter of 2008.

An examination of the data with values adjusted to the Consumer Price Index presents a more negative picture. According to RIS data, the fashion industry saw a real drop of about 13% in sales in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period in 2008. April saw a real drop of 18%. In May, the real drop stood at only 2.4% - a significant improvement compared to the previous four months.

June's results, which reflect a 5.7% drop, show that we are still in the midst of a recession but that the trend of sharp declines has been stopped. The real test will take place in the coming months.

June's sales results are relatively encouraging, with a moderate drop of 0.9% in the sales of commercial centers compared to June 2008. Nonetheless, the fashion industry recorded last month a 3.6% drop in sales, despite aggressive sales campaigns – both on the part of the chains and on the part of the malls' m

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