Retailers report big job losses

8th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 March 2004, DUESSELDORF - Slumping retail sales left a further deep mark on employment in Germany in 2003, with the industry reporting Monday the loss of 50,000 jobs - the highest since World War II. German Retailers Federation HDE president Hermann Franzen said the job losses were even worse than had been anticipated, with the retail sector now providing employment to 2.8 million persons. For the retail sector, the comparatively bright news is that after three years of declining turnover, the year 2004

8 March 2004

DUESSELDORF - Slumping retail sales left a further deep mark on employment in Germany in 2003, with the industry reporting Monday the loss of 50,000 jobs - the highest since World War II.

German Retailers Federation HDE president Hermann Franzen said the job losses were even worse than had been anticipated, with the retail sector now providing employment to 2.8 million persons.

For the retail sector, the comparatively bright news is that after three years of declining turnover, the year 2004 should see sales levelling off, and then starting to rise again next year, he said.

But employment in the retail sector is expected to drop again this year, Franzen warned.

Turnover in 2003 fell by a real 1 percent, with sales during the Christmas season plunging by 25 percent compared with a year earlier.

The Christmas sales volume was a full 50 percent below the Germans' holiday spending of 1999, Franzen said, while criticising the price discount strategies among retailers.

"Those who schedule the winter closing sale at the start of December should not be surprised," he said.

Amid the further downturn in business, the number of retail stores and outlets fell further, by more than 20,000, in 2003.

DPA
Subject: German news 

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