In Consumer and Retail

Despite the continual challenges with COVID-19 and the nationwide protests during May 2021, Colombia’s retail sector still posted a sales increase of 16.8% between January and May 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. These results are from Colombia’s Departmento Nacional de Estadística (National Department of Statistics or DANE).

But the retail growth didn’t end there: DANE recently reported a 24.7% increase in retail sales in June 2021 (and these sales even represented a 7% increase compared to June 2019, before the pandemic). 

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In addition, a recent survey of business owners conducted by the Federación Nacional de Comerciantes y Empresarios (National Federation of Businesspeople and Entrepreneurs) indicated that 88% reported a sales increase in July 2021 and that in many sectors the sales were better than those observed in July 2019.

Beyond increasing its retail sales, Colombia’s GDP grew by 8.8% during the first half of 2021, according to DANE. Overall, Colombia’s National Bank forecasts 6.5% GDP growth in 2021.

Below are a few of the products that could be driving this growth:

#1 Appliances

Several appliance brands have experienced sales growth in Colombia in 2021. For example, the French consortium Groupe SEB — owner of Imusa — reported a 70% increase in sales in Colombia during Q2 2021. Air fryers and batteries were among the company’s top sellers during this period.

In addition, data from Euromonitor indicates that retail sales of appliances in Colombia will increase with a CAGR of 12.1% between 2020 and 2025 to reach a value of over US$1 million by 2025, with projected sales of 2,992 units. The top brands in Colombia’s appliances market are Haceb, Mabe, Challenger, Samsung, and Whirlpool.

#2 Cars and Motorcycles

During the first half of 2021 registrations of new cars in Colombia increased by 53.5% compared to the same period in 2020. The biggest increases happened with freight vehicles and electric vehicles, with 63.8% and 288.2%, respectively. By the end of June 2021 more than 111,000 new cars had been registered in Colombia, as per a report from the Federación Nacional de Comerciantes (National Federation of Businesspeople) and Asociación Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia (National Association of Businesspeople of Colombia.

In terms of motorcycles, sales went up by 58.4% in Colombia during the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to the Asociación Colombiana de Vehículos Automotores (Colombian Association of Automotive Vehicles). Oliverio García, president of the Asociación, projects that by the end of 2021 total motorcycle sales in Colombia could reach between 675,000 and 690,000 units.

cosmetics and fashion

#3 Clothing, Footwear and Jewelry

The clothing market in Colombia will grow by 18% in 2021, according to data from the report Observatorio Sistema Moda from Inexmoda, a nonprofit network of fashion and design stakeholders in Colombia. This 18% figure accounts for sales of textiles, footwear, leather goods, garments, and cosmetics. Monthly fashion consumption in Colombia is estimated to be US$574 million in 2021. However, this gain barely represents a leveling of monthly sales compared to 2019, given that monthly fashion consumption dropped by 13% in 2020.

Between January and February 2021, household spending on fashion items in Colombia was US$1.2 billion, broken down as follows:

  • 55.5% of fashion spend in Colombia was for garments
  • 19% of fashion spend in Colombia was for jewelry
  • 12.2% of fashion spend in Colombia was for footwear
  • 7% of fashion spend in Colombia was for clothing and footwear services
  • 6% of fashion spend in Colombia was for household linen

#4 Household Cleaning Products

Sales of household cleaning products in Colombia went up by 15.1% between January and May 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to DANE.

#5 Pharmaceutical Products

DANE also reported that sales of pharmaceutical products in Colombia went up by 7.2% between January and May 2021. Data from ANDI’s Cámara Farmacéutica (Pharmaceutical Chamber) indicate Colombia’s pharmaceutical market will have a total volume of 18 billion Colombian pesos (US$4.7 million) in 2021 and reach a volume of 23 billion Colombian pesos (US$6 million) by 2024. According to ANDI, 83% of medications sold in Colombia are by prescription, while 17% are over the counter.

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Next Steps

Contact us if you’re interested in further market research about the consumer market in Colombia or other countries. Over the past 30 years we’ve conducted more than 600 consumer market research studies for Latin America. These include market landscape studies, opportunity benchmarking, competitive intelligence and more.

You may also want to explore our other stories on top-selling products in Latin America overall in 2021, as well as 2021’s best-selling products in markets such as Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil.

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