Figures published for the second quarter of 2021 by the German e-commerce and mail order trade association, BEVH, show an unbroken overall trend toward e-commerce and the use of online marketplaces for all types of goods in Germany, even though restrictions on brick-and-mortar retailing have been eased. After a strong recovery in the first quarter, revenues from e-commerce went up by 19.4 percent in the second quarter to €24.1 billion as compared to the same period of 2020, when online sales had already grown by 16.5 percent due to Covid-19.

Marketplaces emerged as a multi-channel solution for many small brick-and-mortar retailers: At 22.5 percent, the strongest growth in retail sales was achieved during the second quarter by online marketplaces, which currently have a market share of 50.7 percent in the overall e-commerce landscape.

For the first half of 2021 as a whole, e-commerce rose by 23.2 percent to €45.2 billion, making it likely that the online revenues for the whole year will exceed €100 billion for the first time in Germany. Rising by 12.5 percent, online sales of hobby and leisure products, including sporting goods, progressed more slowly than those in some other product categories during the first half of 2021. Daily consumer goods and furnishings were up by 43.3 percent and 33.3 percent, respectively.

The online fashion market increased by 19.1 percent. 

According to TextilWirtschaft’s retail panel, Germany’s brick-and-mortar fashion retailers suffered a 40 percent drop in their sales during the first six months of this year as compared to the same period a year ago, but their sales were up by 26 percent in June. As a strong indicator of the concentration in the market, their sales in the first half of 2021 were 57 percent lower than in the first half of 2019.

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