Yellow Vests protests continue to affect French sales

In France, the "Yellow Vests" protests continue to affect retail sales. These protests were sparked by economic concerns. The most recent demonstrations happened on Saturday, 8 December 2018. These protests have resulted in a decline in the sales of consumer goods throughout the entire country.

There were, on average, 16% fewer sales compared to the Saturday since the beginning of the school year in September. The impact is further being felt in a period that is crucial for the success of the holiday season. There was a decrease of eight percent on the previous Saturday. 

The supplying of stores is returning to normal levels. This level increased by three percent on Saturday, 8 December 2018. This, after three consecutive Saturdays with where there were decreases in supplies. These declines were caused by traffic congestion, making stores difficult, or even impossible, to reach.

The information, data and measurement company, Nielsen, noticed an acceleration of supply on Thursday and Friday. This is probably as a result of the catch-up from the previous Saturday. Possible difficulties over the weekend were anticipated.

Paris has remained relatively resistant. Here, there was an average decline of only 6% during the first three Saturdays of the protest. Over the same period, hypermarkets and supermarkets in most of the affected urban areas saw a decrease of more than a third of their total sales. This includes mass consumer and non-food sales.

Three of the ten worst affected cities in France are in the north of the country and the Pas-de-Calais area. These are Douai-Lens, Béthune, and Valenciennes. Two - Nancy and Metz - are in the Lorraine region. 

However, the most significant declines are at the sales points around Avignon and Saint-Etienne. Here, there was an average drop of 37% on the three Saturdays. Saturday, 17 November 2018,  saw the most significant decline. Then, there was a decrease of more than 50% in different areas, including Rouen (-58%) and Nancy (-60%).

These latest figures form part of an ongoing analysis of the "Yellow Vests" movement's impact on supermarket and hypermarket sales. This study is being conducted by Nielsen.

To emphasize local differences, Nielsen has consolidated the first three "Yellow Vests" episodes. These occurred on 17 and 24 November 2018 and 1 December of this year.

Source: Nielsen


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