Greece's retailers association says Greek summer retail sales are down to 9.2 bln euros making it the weakest season in years. As David Pollard reports capital controls and snap elections have hit consumer confidence.
Euro zone retail sales have been marching ahead in recent months. Here though, they've stumbled - and for some outlets they're at a complete halt. Where else but Greece, says the president of its retailers' association, Vassilis Korkidis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HELLENIC CONFEDERATION OF COMMERCE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP PRESIDENT, VASSILIS KORKIDIS, SAYING: "We started with the referendum, we continued with closed banks, we had the capital controls, then we had a new memorandum and now we have the pre-election period. All these five factors is the worst combination for the Greek market." Food and fuel - they're thought to have surged in recent months as consumers stock up against possible shortages. But sales of clothing, footwear and other goods have, says the association, nose-dived. What it calls a 'catastrophic' situation: a predicted drop of nearly 13 per cent in the the three months to August. Revenues expected to be down nearly a billion and half euros on the same period last year. Jewellery store owner Eddie Kalfayan says he's struggling to make ends meet. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) JEWELLERY STORE OWNER, EDDIE KALFAYAN, SAYING: "With the upcoming election, things could get even worse. Our only hope is that a government will be elected, whatever government it may be, that will take measures to restore demand." That could be some way after the September 20th vote. In the meantime, the only thing on the rise in Greek retail appears to be the size of its discounts.