2015 showed once again the strength of Estonian consumers

The second half of 2015 was favourable for retailers as the retail sales (excl. fuel) growth rate accelerated YoY to 8.9% from 7.9% year earlier. Full year 2015 retail sales (excl. fuel) increased by 8.7% YoY, which meant annual retail sales (excl. fuel) reached an all-time record value of 4.52 bn EUR.

The highest growth rate was registered among specialised retailers, who enjoyed a robust 38% YoY growth rate, indicating once again a solid trend of increasing amount of money spent on recreational items. We expect specialised retailers (categories incl. sports equipment, toys and games, gardening, books, computers etc) to continue as one of the best performing retail category.

Fashion category grew 3.1 % due to the last year high base level, but it’s also important to notice that after a slow start of the year, the H2 2015 showed an accelerated growth of 5.5%. Retail sale of household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials grew 6.8% YoY in 2015.

Retail sales growth was driven mainly by two factors: low price of fuel, which left consumers more money to spend on other items, and strong wage growth. In 2015 the average monthly gross wage rose by 6.0%, following the same growth rate in 2014. Ministry of Finance of Estonia forecasts the wage growth remains above 5% in upcoming years, which together with low fuel prices will support retail sector even further.

The beginning of 2016 continued to show strong consumer spending growth with January 2016 retail sale revenues up by 8% YoY.

Estonia 2014 Q1 15 Q2 15 Q3 15 Q4 15 2015
Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motor fuel 7% 9% 8% 10% 8% 9%
Retail sale of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods 19% -1% 1% 6% 5% 3%
Retail sale of household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials 7% 10% 7% 8% 3% 7%

Source: Estonian Statistics, Trigon Calculations