Food Retail: Corona brings increased turnover
Food Retail

Corona brings increased turnover

Imago Images / Action Pictures
The retail food trade benefited from higher consumer demand in February and March.
The retail food trade benefited from higher consumer demand in February and March.

GERMANY, Frankfurt. Retail sales in Germany rose strongly in February. There is no end in sight for hoarding purchases.

"In the Corona crisis, the retail sector is experiencing strong demand for everyday consumer goods. The increased demand is partly clearly visible in retail sales in February 2020," reports the Federal Statistical Office. According to preliminary results of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), retail companies in Germany in February 2020 increased their turnover in real terms (price-adjusted) by 6.4% and in nominal terms (not price-adjusted) by 7.7% in February 2020 compared to February 2019. February 2020 had one more day of sales with 25 sales days.

The increased demand is particularly evident in the retail trade with food, beverages and tobacco products: in February 2020, the sector achieved a real increase of 7.8% and a nominal increase of 10.6% compared to February 2019. Food Service reports that sales at supermarkets, hypermarkets and hypermarkets were up 8.3% in real terms and 11.1% in nominal terms on the same month last year.

Good sales in the specialist retail trade

In a corresponding comparison, the specialist food retail trade increased its sales by 3.5% in real terms and 6.6% in nominal terms. According to the Federal Office, all rates of change mentioned in this section are significantly higher than the corresponding rates of change in the past five years.

The good business apparently resulted from a leap in demand in the last week of February. According to surveys by the market research institute Nielsen, sales in food retailing of more than 100 square metres in the ninth calendar week (up to Sunday, 1 March) rose from € 2.75 bn. to € 3.19 bn. compared with the previous week, which was 13.8% more than in the same week last year. In the first week of March, sales fell slightly (€ 3.03 bn.), reports the "Lebensmittel Zeitung".

In a year-on-year comparison, the increase nevertheless rose to 14.5%. The Nielsen statistics also include drugstores, but not the discounters Aldi, Lidl and Norma. The high turnover is due to hoarding purchases caused by the coronavirus. Nielsen's analysts expect business to remain at least at this high level in the coming weeks, possibly even to increase again. 

Source:,, / dfv Mediengruppe


With our free newsletters, we can provide you with the most important industry news and useful practical tips from Germany and around the world.