Relaxation of restrictions increased retailers' profits
After the government allowed for limited on-site shopping options for non-essential stores last week, business picked up again for retailers. ING saw a sharp increase in debit card transactions after the “click-and-collect” option began on February 10. Revenue shot up again when “shopping appointments” became possible on March 3, NOS reports.
Debit card transactions sank by nearly one-third after stores were mandated to close last December. Revenue still is not at the same level it was prior to the lockdown, but is now only 17 percent less than the average. “Retailers that were heavily hit by the pandemic are still dealing with large setbacks but the losses are becoming significantly less”, researcher at the ING’s bureau of economics Marten van Garderen said to NOS.
Especially non-essential stores profited from the relaxation of the restrictions. Sport, toy and clothing stores earned back 40 percent of their regular debit card transactions.
Now that is partly possible to shop on-site again, online sales fell slightly, yet still remain 57 percent above average. “Online shopping remains more popular than normal, but the difference has become somewhat less”, Van Garderen said. At their peak, online sales were 73 percent higher than prior to the pandemic.