The Coin Excelsior unit in Trieste, Italy.

Following the lifting of the lockdown, the sales of fashion items didn’t spike in Italy.

According to research conducted by Confimprese, an association representing Italian retailers, in collaboration with consulting firm EY, ready-to-wear sales across the country were down 33 percent compared to the same period last here. In total, during the first half of the year, they decreased 45 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

“It’s important to focus on the drastic changes of people’s lifestyle, in particular considering the growing importance of smart working, the decreased number of business-related travels and the reduced international fluxes,” said Confimprese managing director Mario Maiocchi. “We will have to evaluate how this will impact big cities’ high-street locations, the travel retail business, as well as malls and outlets. On the contrary, there will be a bigger focus on large cities’ less central areas and on the historic centers of provincial towns.”

In June, the retail performances in Italy’s primary trade areas saw a double-digit decrease compared to the same period last year. For example, sales on Milan’s central Corso Buenos Aires were down 40 percent last month, compared to June 2019.

Last month, the most affected segment was travel retail, which decreased 72 percent compared to the same period last year. The business of malls, outlets and high-street stores located in big and small Italian cities decreased 30 and 20 percent, respectively.

On a positive note, during the lockdown, from April to June, online sales in Italy surged 135 percent compared to the same period last year and in June, even if physical stores reopened, they grew 54 percent compared to the same month in 2019.