Greek retail clothing and footwear seasonality: a "perfect fit" for the last 20 years

The seasonality in the Greek retail clothing and footwear market seems to be set in stone. Apart from a minor hiccup between 2010 and 2012 sales seasonality is close to perfectly correlated to the 20 year seasonal average, year after year.

Despite rock solid sales seasonality, Greek clothing and footwear retailers' turnover was heavily impacted by the economic crisis.

The graph below shows the ELSTAT Retail Turnover Index for Clothes & Footwear from 2000 to 2018. After a steady rise between 2000 and 2007 sales in the clothing and footwear market faltered and began to decline from 2009 to 2013. A relatively small rate of growth in sales, averaging around 2% per annum, was achieved between 2013 and 2018.

According to the ELSTAT Households Budget survey it seems the average Greek household cut back annual Clothing and Footwear from just over €2,000 in 2008 to just under €1,000 by 2018

Graph 1: ELSTAT Retail Turnover Index: Clothing & Footwear, Greece 2000-2018

The Capita Sales Seasonality Index

In order to understand the fluctuations in sales during the year and to ascertain if there is indeed seasonality, we constructed the Capita Sales Seasonality Index: Retail Clothing & Footwear based on ELSTAT's monthly Retail Turnover Index for Clothing & Footwear 2000-2018.

We set the average monthly sales to a base value of 100 points for each year and calculated the value for each month in the year separately. This gave us a basis to determine and compare seasonal fluctuations of sales within and between years.

A "perfect fit" in sales seasonality

Graph 2 shows the Capita Sales Seasonality Index: Retail Clothing & Footwear for the last 20 years. It doesn't take much imagination to realize that nearly all years move in unison on a monthly basis. Clothing & Footwear is a highly predictable market with increased sales near Easter and Christmas.

Graph 2: Capita Sales Seasonality Index: Retail Clothing & Footwear, Greece 2000-2018

We took the average of all monthly seasonal values over the period and constructed the 2000-2018 sales seasonality index, seen below.

Graph 3: Capita Sales Seasonality Index: Retail Clothing & Footwear, 2000-2018 monthly averages

We correlated the index above with every year from 2000-2018 and confirmed the correlation was strong in every single year. The graph below show the annual correlations to the 20 year seasonal average.

Sure wish our clothes would fit us that well after 20 years.


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