According to the latest figures, retail sales volume in Bermuda has now declined year-on-year for 12 consecutive months for February.
After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation – measured at 2.0 percent in February – the overall volume of retail sales declined 4.4 percent.
The Retail Sales Index figures show declines in all sectors “with motor vehicle stores recording the largest volume decrease of 16.7 percent followed by apparel stores which recorded a 7.2 percent decline in sales volume”.
“In value terms, retail sales decreased 2.5% to an estimated $79.8 million. Excluding Sundays, there were 24 full shopping days, the same as in February 2018.”
It was also noted that “the January figure was also revised from a 2.9 per cent drop to a 3 per cent decrease”.
The track record will show that this is the longest period of consecutive months of declining sales following a similar period that ran for nearly four years from May 2008 to February 2012.

In terms of dollars and cents, retail sales in February decreased 2.5 percent to $79.8 million.

Imports via courier increased $0.9 million to $11.6 million, while residents returning by air from overseas declared $3.3 million of overseas purchases.

Household imports that came by sea were $0.6 million –  goods imported via the post office totalled $0.4 million.

The 16.7 percent decline in motor vehicle sales  represented 17.9 percent in sales receipts.

Apparel Stores came in for a 7.2 percent drop in sales with the value of sales dipping 4.6 percent.

Service stations also experienced a 5.1 percent dip in sales and 5.6 percent in value. Sales for building material were down 4 percent.

Liquor store sales dropped 3.3 percent in volume.

All other store types encountered a 4.8 percent decline in sales volume, while the value of sales of miscellaneous goods dipped significantly by 41.1 percent.

Drug store sales at local pharmacies went up 0.9 percent and retail sales in electronics, furniture and appliances increased 2.4 percent.

Sales value for marine and boat suppliers came in for a 50 percent boost as a result of higher sales of boats and engines when compared to February 2018.

Overall, the Retail Sales Index was 80.3.

Within the past three years, the biggest year-on-year increase in Bermuda’s sales volume was recorded in the summer of 2017 during the America’s Cup.

Highlighted below are the February 2019 year-over-year changes for each of the seven local retail sectors:

  • Motor Vehicle Stores’ sales volume fell 16.7 per cent.
  • Apparel Stores’ sales volume decreased 7.2 per cent.
  • Service Stations’ sales volume down 5.1 per cent.
  • All Other Store Types’ sales volume declined 4.8 per cent.
  • Building Material Stores’ sales volume declined 4.0 per cent.
  • Liquor Stores’ sales volume declined 3.3 per cent.
  • Food Stores’ sales volume declined 2.0 per cent.