Greek retailers are anticipating a marginal increase in turnover over the festive season, as they expect it to climb just above last year’s 3.5 billion euros. Even if that is the case, it will still be a far cry from the 5.4 billion euros in sales of Christmas 2009, as turnover has dropped some 35 percent in the last eight years.
This marginal recovery from last year is seen coming from the improvement in employment and the recent handouts to specific groups of people, such as the payment of retroactive dues to salary workers and pensioners from the special wage grids, as well as the so-called social dividend. Of course the majority of this additional income will go toward covering debts and only a small part will be spent at stores.
According to the Institute of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the majority of consumers start their Christmas shopping during the first half of December before it rises to its peak from December 16 to 24; only two out of 10 make last-minute buys from December 27 to 31 (for the New Year).
Traditionally the category that ranks top among Christmas shoppers is apparel, followed by food and drink and then children’s toys.