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Clothing and footwear retail sector registers marginal increase in turnover in 2012

Growth in the clothing and footwear retail sector in 2012 continued to be fairly subdued, with operators reporting a marginal increase in turnover of 0.8% compared to 2011, which was 0.4% higher than 2010.

Although at a slower pace than seen in previous years, Valletta outlets continued to suffer and lost further ground to outlets operating in other shopping localities. Valletta registered a 5.4% decline in turnover on the back of a 10.3% drop registered in 2011.50% of Valletta participants reported a decline in turnover. The survey results also show that Sliema outlets managed to pick up a significant portion of Valletta’s lost business and grew turnover by 3.2% with 73% of Sliema participants reporting higher turnover levels.

These are the key findings which emerge from the second edition of the ‘Malta Retail Review’ undertaken by Deloitte and EMCS with the support of BOV and which reflects the survey results of over 120 retail outlets across Malta and Gozo, with a combined turnover in excess of €70 million.

Commenting on the survey results, Deloitte Financial Advisory Leader Raphael Aloisio said “The results of the second edition of the survey show that for the second year running the sector only registered marginal growth and that gains made by particular localities were primarily the result of displacement of business from other localities. The sector needs significantly higher levels of growth in order to safeguard the long term sustainability of the large number of outlets which have mushroomed over the island over the past years.”

Referring to the rather worrying results reported by Valletta operators, EMCS Director Stefano Mallia said “Over the years, Valletta operators have lost significant market share to other localities and a growing number of operators are questioning the sustained viability of their Valletta operations. Although construction works and parking restrictions undoubtedly contributed to the downturn, one should not assume that these were the sole causes and that tackling these issues would automatically restore normality. Much more is needed and stakeholders require a studied plan of how best to try and recover the significant lost ground.’’

The results of the survey also revealed that:

  • 61% of survey participants reported higher turnover in 2012;
  • Mall operators continued to increase their share of the market by growing at a faster pace than high street outlets;
  • Own brands generally reported stronger performance than international franchise operators, which would appear to be winning more business from competing franchises rather than own brand operators; and
  • The larger retail outlets with turnover in excess of €1 million per annum increased turnover by 2.1% whereas the smaller shops registered a decline of 0.2%.

Noel Scerri, Executive Head Business Generation and EU Affairs, at Bank of Valletta stressed the importance of stakeholders being provided with reliable market intelligence information which would enable those involved to make more informed strategic business decisions. “In this day and age businesses can no longer be run on gut instinct, market intelligence is critical and businesses need to continually challenge themselves by benchmarking against the competition in order to better gauge their own performance,” he added.


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Raphael Aloisio
Job Title:
Leader Financial Advisory
+356 23432000