This was compounded by a rise in average purchase prices from suppliers throughout Europe. Bloomberg said this was the highest monthly hike in purchase prices for retailers in seven months. Weak demand and low consumer confidence were the main reasons for falls in sales, although some retailers in the survey also mentioned poor weather conditions as a contributory factor.
Italy registered the biggest slide in retail sales, with like-for-like sales falling for the seventh month running. However, France and Germany also felt the pinch. February ended a run of good business for German retailers, with the first month of sales decline for four months. French retailers recorded the sixth decline in the past seven months.