To prevent the contagion of the new coronavirus, the member states of the European Union (EU) have adopted a wide range of restrictive measures, with the retail trade being affected. According to Eurostat data on the situation in the EU, in March the total volume in this sector decreased by 10% compared to February, with the area of computers not escaping the virus. At a time when isolation is the most recommended advice, online purchases increased in the past month, but only 2.2%. The biggest difference when this value is compared to the same period in 2019, increasing to 11.9%.
After the increase of 3.5% in February of this year in the volume of retail trade via the Internet, in relation to January, this value continued to grow in March. However, the difference was not so significant, being just over 2%.
The reality changes when we analyze the figures for the same period last year. In one year, there was an increase of almost 12% in the volume of online purchases, whereas in February this growth was 10.8%.
In the computer equipment, books and other sectors, the decrease is evident: 16% when compared to February, when the volume had already seen a reduction of 0.4%. If the analysis is made in relation to the same period of 2019, the lowest value, standing at 14.2%.
Eurostat also notes that, as a rule, sales in supermarkets have increased even in countries that have suffered the biggest declines in sales activities. Portugal is one of those that recorded a major decline at the global level, 12%, but the value in supermarkets increased by 3%.
These figures come after data from the consultancy GfK indicate a 250% increase in sales of online technological products in Portugal. The values refer to the week from March 30 to April 5, when compared to the same period in 2019. In an interview with SAPO TeK, Rui Reis, product manager at GfK, said that "online continues to grow extraordinarily and almost makes up for the fall in the total market. " "It already represents one third of the market, the paradigm is changing", he explained.