As usual in recent years, trade has returned to positive numbers at the national level, growing slightly. Thus, 2018 can be described as broadly favorable, although there is a lower growth than in the period 2014-2016. This uptick is maintained by increased consumer confidence, which led to increased consumption, and also had an improvement in job creation.

In the last month of 2018, retail sales did not experience year-on-year change, up from the 1.5% rebound in November. Despite this, retail sales chained together three consecutive months of positive rates in December.

This increase in sales is 10% higher than in 2017, but lower than in the previous three years. Eliminated seasonal and calendar effects, retail turnover increased by 0.7% across 2018. The largest annual turnover increase was recorded by the large chains (+2.4%), followed by the small chains (+1%) and large areas (+0.4%).

On the other hand, according to the INE data, sales of foodstuffs increased by 0.7% in 2018, while non-food sales advanced by 0.9%. Among those, the highest sales growth occurred in the home equipment segment (+4.5%), followed by other goods (+0.2%). On the other, personal team sales fell by 0.7%.


Nationally, there are 563 shopping centers and parks, of which 108 are located in Andalusia. In the province of Malaga, there are 24 shopping centers and parks, representing 22.2% of Andalusia in terms of number of centers and 17.6% in terms of gross rentable area.

In 2018, sales have increased by 2.7%, closing the year in positive numbers; Thanks also to this increase, employment had a good behavior, from an Unemployment Rate (EPA) of 24.4% in 2017 to 21.3% in 2018.

In 2018, the number of retail business in the province of Malaga amounted to 34,196, which represents 21% of Andalusia’s shops (162,615).

Regarding employment, in the last quarter of the year a total of 21,222 contracts were registered in Malaga in the sector. This shows a decrease from the same quarter of the previous year of -0.36%.

With regard to marketing channels and tools, the quality of the service and the differentiation of its products are the main sales factors.

Looking for this differentiation, adaptation to new technologies is beginning to be evidenced with positive figures.


The increasing digitization and the advent of the crisis led to the search for new forms of sales, being the most relevant online commerce, the crisis encouraged SMEs to open stores on the Internet. After a few years in which the companies that opened on the Network saw their sales increase, now with a weight in the trade sector that shows that are a very important channel in which online sales have increased in 2018 thanks in part to the growing implementation of new cloud solutions. Fashion and accessories SMEs and food are the most convinced of including e-commerce in their businesses.

Spaniards spend an average of 77 euros on online purchases, increasing the frequency of purchase compared to the previous year (3 times a month). This is therefore stable data from the previous two years.

On the other hand, the data show that the consumer no longer decides to buy online for the price, but also for the convenience and availability of offer and products. About the devices used for online purchases, the preferred one is still the computer, although it decreases in percentage, unlike smartphones, which are increasingly present in the purchase process. Thus, 87% of the acquisitions are made through the computer, and 45% of internet users refer to using the mobile.

The most demanded products online are, in order, those related to culture and entertainment, travel, technology, fashion and food.

In numbers, e-commerce exceeds 9.3 billion euros in Spain in the second quarter of 2018, 27.2% more than the previous year, according to CNMC data.

But in addition to growing turnover, it also increased in number of transactions: in the second quarter of 2018 more than 159 million transactions were recorded, with an increase of 34.8%.

By sector, the companies with the highest revenue have been travel agencies and tour operators, with 13.4% of total turnover; land transport of travellers, with 7.7%, and artistic, sporting and recreational shows with 6.5%.

In this context, the external net balance (the difference between what is bought from abroad to Spanish websites and what is purchased from Spain abroad) results in a deficit of 2,652 million euros in the second quarter.

By number of transactions, 41.2% of sales are registered on Spanish websites and 58.8% on websites abroad.

On the other hand, e-commerce revenues within Spain increased by 10.1% year-on-year in the period analyzed to EUR 3.101 million.

Finally, it should be noted that measures to support the trade sector have been implemented in recent years from various institutions, promoting liberalization and modernization of the sector. Thus, the Comprehensive Plan to Support the Competitiveness of Retail Trade is maintained, as well as the Modernization of commercial areas, support for financing, Innovation and new technologies, commercial promotion and tourism of shopping, support for measures for training and employment,…

It should be noted that one of the main problems in the sector so far, especially for small bussines, has been the scarcity of financial resources, although there has been some improvement in recent years.