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German pet supplies not spared the downward trend

Feb 4, 2024
The greater spending restraint shown by consumers in Germany was reflected once again in 2023 in significantly lower total sales in the German e-commerce category, according to e-commerce association BEVH.

The decline in gross turnover during the year as a whole was in double digits for the first time, falling by 11.8 per cent to 79.7 bn euros from 90.4 bn euros the year before. The proportion of overall retailing accounted for by e-commerce in goods in the narrower sense (including food, but without pharmaceutical sales) probably fell last year to 10.2 per cent (2022: 11.8 per cent).

The pet supplies category of goods was not spared this negative trend. Sales of pet food and accessories in online retailing fell in 2023 by 4.2 per cent compared with the previous year to 1.78 bn euros. Depsite this, pet supplies was the least affected of the categories studied in terms of declining sales in 2023. By comparison, sales of food declined by 6.9 per cent compared with 2022, DIY and gardening sales were down 7.1 per cent, while sales of books, e-books and audio books fell by as much as 17.6 per cent.

“We expect the nadir in German e-commerce to be reached during the course of the year. The fourth quarter of 2023 with a decline of 7.1 per cent was the first quarter with a minus in single digits since early summer 2022, indicating a stabilisation of sales in future,” commented Gero Furchheim, president of the BEVH and board spokesperson of Cairo AG. Online retail continues to be anchored in all age groups, enjoys excellent customer reviews and remains true to its role as an innovator, said the BEVH president with optimism.

The basis of the figures presented by BEVH is a weekly consumer survey. From January to December, a total of 40 000 private individuals in Germany aged 14 and over are asked about their spending habits online and on mail order and their consumption of digital services (e.g. travel or ticketing).

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