Department stores, supermarkets and specialized stores are beginning to see the light of day after the health, economic and logistical crisis left by the pandemic. At the end of the first quarter of 2022, retailers not only returned to 2019 sales levels, but even exceeded them, even in an inflationary environment.
According to the latest report from the National Association of Self-Service and Department Stores (ANTAD), sales of Sorina, Liverpool, Palacio de Hierro and La Comer, which make up the association, amounted to 313.5 billion pesos, 7.1% more than to 294.1 billion pesos in 2019, the year before the pandemic. The commercial chains that make up ANTAD group together more than 46,600 stores. The total sales area of these establishments amounts to more than 21.9 million square meters.
In March, the chains associated with ANTAD registered revenues of 111,000 million pesos, which compared to 103,300 in March 2019, is equivalent to an increase of 7.4%.
Unlike the past two years, consumers now seem to be in a better mood to shop and have found stores open and with extended hours to do so. This year, the chains have operated with a green traffic light, which has been a key factor in their recovery.
With COVID-19, departmental and specialized stores, such as shoe stores or toy stores, were the hardest hit, as they had to remain closed for several months because they were not considered essential, while supermarkets were boosted by panic sales.
Two years later, self-service sales have stabilized, while department stores are making progress in their recovery. However, the shadow of inflation in the country, which in March stood at 7.45% – its highest level in 21 years, according to the Inegi – has become a challenge for the recovery of the sector.
Grupo Sanborns, the Carlos Slim chain that operates the Sears brand, reported sales growth in 2021 of 35% compared to the previous year, registering 52,939 million pesos, which, however, was 0.6% below the 53,288 million pesos in sales for 2019.
The Port of Liverpool, which controls the Liverpool and Suburbia stores, obtained revenues of 151,021.7 million pesos in 2021, 4.7% above the 144,233.4 million in 2019. Compared to 2020, the revenues of the company directed by Graciano Guichard were 38.8% superiors.
La Comer, which of the retailers has been the one that has given the best response to the crisis, reported revenues of 28,906 million pesos in 2021, that is, an increase of 7.0% year-on-year, while same-store sales reached growth of 4.3%.