Sales in May fell in half of supermarkets, with drops of up to 40%

Last month, 50 percent of the country’s supermarkets saw declining sales, most with declines of up to 40 percent.

The data was provided by the report Qualitative Surveys of Commerce During the Health Emergency, presented today Wednesday 24 by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec), along with its usual findings on sales in supermarkets and shopping centers.

The survey, which seeks to reveal the impact of the quarantine by Covid-19 on consumption, also reveals that in May 20 percent kept sales stable and 30 percent recorded an increase of up to 20 percent.

The data reveals what until now businessmen and consultants in the sector have been warning. In March, sales measured at constant prices increased 9.6 percent year-on-year across the country, due to the trend of supplying consumers, motivated by the uncertainty generated by the start of isolation.

But once families “stocked out,” sales stabilized and then began to drop. In April they increased just 0.2 percent year-on-year and for May the trend was down.

In Córdoba, the turnover of supermarkets at current prices in April rose 49 percent. Taking into account that inflation in the province reached 44.6 percent that month, real growth stands at four points.

In self-services, the trend was similar, although with less decline. The survey shows that in May 46.2 percent of businesses observed sales in decline; the majority of this group observed year-on-year reductions of 20 percent.

Instead, it remained stable for 30.8 percent and increased for 23 percent; The latter group observed increases of 20 percent year-on-year.

The difference is the result of the impact of isolation, which forced consumers to focus their purchases on local businesses and to reduce their visits to department stores.

“Throughout the quarantine, the habit changed. Initially, merchandise was stockpiled in supermarkets. But then, the consumer turned to neighborhood commerce, to the proximity format, which knew how to respond to the customer’s need, installing terminals for card collection and implementing the delivery”Warns Vanesa Ruiz, manager of the Córdoba Warehouse Center.

According to the survey, in May 40 percent of supermarkets projected price increases for June, while 60 percent predicted stability.


On the other hand, the National Survey of Shopping Centers reflected the closure of all shopping center of the country by the isolation measure. This is what explains that sales in April have fallen from 98.6 percent year-on-year at constant prices.

With this, in the first four-month period of the year shopping center They accumulated a drop in sales of 38.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the survey carried out in May found that 57.1 percent of the informant shopping centers indicated that they expected to decrease the number of people employed in their administrations during June.

This implies a significant jump compared to April and May, when that group was 30 percent.