The Inretail Sport Monitor indicates that the Dutch sports market raised its sales by just 1.2 percent in the first nine months of this year. Inretail reports that the rise was driven by apparel, up by 1.2 percent, while sports footwear sales increased by 0.5 percent and equipment sales were off by 1.7 percent (this wouldn't appear to add up to an average of 1.2 percent but SGI Europe has not yet received an explanation). The performance is better than that of the Dutch shoe retail trade, which was nearly flat, as reported by Inretail GfK Shoescan. The Dutch fashion sector's retail sales even declined by 0.6 percent, it transpires from the Inretail GfK Fashionscan. This setback was chiefly blamed on weak sales in September. However, the Inretail organization predicts increased sales for the three sectors in the last quarter, due to growing consumer confidence in the Netherlands and the robust start of trading in the period. Some of the retailers taking part in the monitor apparently doubled their sales in the first weekend of October. The timing of the festive season is also more judicious this year.