The market situation has triggered a sales reduction of nearly 5% in first quarter 2009, from a year earlier.

Expressed in euro, the sharp devaluation of local currency generated a massive 20% fall in sales.

In home furniture and decorations, the first-quarter sales fell 3% while office furniture segment dropped 10%.

Bucharest-based shops had the narrowest falls compared to those outside the capital. The best evolution in sales was recorded for shops housed in shopping centers over independent ones. The sales of the unit in Baneasa rose 5% in first quarter 2009, compared to Q1 2008.

“The majority of non-food retailers have kept their prices in euro, and raised them in lei adjusting them to currency exchange rate. Spotting the consumer’s appetite for bargains, they have dropped prices by 15-20%. At Mobexpert, we’ve turned the entire collection into one-time opportunity, assuming the freezing of prices in lei, and thus dropping them when expressed in euro, by around 20% from last year’s summer. To improve cost management, we have renegotiated contracts with our providers and assumed a flat profit margin. This is how we considered we could protect our client. We are perfectly aware that if the client’s financial situation is crippling, than ours will be accordingly”, said Dan Sucu, chairman of Mobexpert.