The average drop in retail turnover this past Christmas season has amounted to between 21 and 30 percent from the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE), while in some areas the decline reached a staggering 60 percent.
The decision to allow stores to open for an additional Sunday during the holidays (on December 30) failed to produced the revenues expected, as reduced disposable incomes and the bad weather discouraged consumers from adding to purchases already made before Christmas.
Out of ESEE’s 58 member associations, only three said that their highest consumer traffic was seen on December 30. According to the confederation, demand peaked on December 23 and 24.
The biggest losers this festive season were apparel retailers, as most consumers have put off buying clothes and footwear until the sales that are scheduled to begin next Tuesday. Even spending on children’s toys posted a major decline, according to 45 percent of ESEE member associations. Books, on the other hand, fared better, as 20 percent of associations saw purchases remain unchanged while another 10 percent reported an increase.