2020 was the worst year for retail sales in at least ten years. According to ISTAT data, since 2010 there has never been an annual decline greater than the 5.4% recorded last year. Figures and numbers strongly influenced by the health emergency, which caused an annual decline of 5.4%, with a strong heterogeneity of results both by product sector and by distribution form. The non-food sector suffered a heavy fall, also due to the closures of the shops arranged to deal with the health emergency, while the food sector recorded a positive result, comments the institute. Both small-storey businesses and out-of-store sales experienced a marked decline in sales in 2020. Large-scale distribution was negatively affected by the performance of the non-food sector. The only form of distribution to mark strong growth was e-commerce, which recorded an increase of 34.6%.
For food sales the result of the year + 3.7% in value and + 2.1% in volume. For non-food products -12.2% both in value and in volume. For the month of December alone, Istat estimates, for retail sales, an increase compared to November of 2.5% both in value and in volume. Sales of non-food goods grew markedly (+ 4.8% in value and + 4.5% in volume) while sales of food goods are almost stationary (+ 0.1% in value and + 0.2% in volume ). On a trend basis, in December, retail sales decreased by 3.1% in value and 3.2% in volume. Also in this case there is a strong growth for food goods (+ 6.6% in value and + 5.7% in volume) and a fall for non-food goods (-9.4% in value and -9, 5% by volume). Compared to December 2019, the value of retail sales decreased both for large retailers (-2.5%) and for companies operating on small surfaces (-6.6%). Sales outside the shops fell by 12.3% while e-commerce rose sharply (+ 33.8%).