Ljubljana, 28 August (STA) - Retail and wholesale companies in Slovenia generated a total of EUR 23.3bn in sales revenue in 2013, which is 5.7% less than a year before. This is the second consecutive drop in annual revenues, which puts revenues on par with the recession years.
Compared to 2008, revenues were down by almost 18%, data from the Statistics Office show.
A drop in revenue was recorded both in retail and wholesale. In retail, revenues totalled EUR 11.6bn, down 5.2% compared to 2012. An even bigger drop was recorded in wholesale, by 6.7% to EUR 11.6bn.
Compared to 2008, revenues in retail decreased by 8.2%, while they plunged by 26.3% in wholesale. The Statistic Office attributes the poor performance of wholesale companies to the small size of the Slovenian market.
Companies in retail and wholesale contributed almost 36% to the total 2012 revenues but they generated only some 19% of the total added value, which is however in line with the nature of the business.
Still, a person employed in retail or wholesale generated the most added value in 2008 or 9.6% more than it was the Slovenian average. Meanwhile, in 2012, the added value was 5.9% bellow the average.
In the same period, an average monthly pay per employee in retail and wholesale grew faster than the average monthly pay in the entire economy.
One of the indicators of a general state in the economy and retail is purchasing power. Data on Gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant transferred into purchasing power show Slovenia reached 83% of the EU average last year.
Retail also saw one of the biggest drops in optimism. Low demand, high labour costs and competition in the sector are still among the main factors preventing any improvement.
In recession, people first stop buying luxury goods and postpone purchases of furniture or household appliances that they need, the Statistics Office noted.
Retail sale via mail order houses or via internet was also severely affected by the crisis, rising steadily by 2008 only to record a big drop in 2009. After that it was on the rise again, but failed to exceed the 2005 level.