ECONOMY

Holiday turnover to slump 30 pct

After suffering significant drops in profits and turnover over the course of the year, the local retail market is facing a similar picture this festive season as consumers attempt to combine their needs and desires with the most economic purchases possible.

In the first few days of the holiday season the apparel retail market has been showing signs of a 20 percent contraction in turnover, on the back of another 20 percent drop during the same period last year.

According to an estimate by the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE), turnover from retail this festive season will only amount to 9 billion euros, down from 13 billion last Christmas. This constitutes a 30 percent decline.

As the crucial last few days of the year go by, the only sector maintaining turnover at last year?s levels appears to be toy stores, with the market expressing reserved optimism, in a month that generally accounts for no less than 25-30 percent of the whole year?s retail turnover.

Nikos Yiannetos, a member of the governing board of the Athens Tradesmen Association who owns the Yiannetos men?s apparel store, says that the market has shrunk considerably, with many enterprises closing down and several chains reducing their network to a significant extent.

He estimates that this constitutes a correction in a market that had expanded beyond its capacity in previous years, with a multitude of trading and importing enterprises, adding that Greek consumers are now mainly opting for enterprises that advertise special offers and those that offer extra quality.

Constantinos Lambropoulos, the managing director of Attica department stores, appears more optimistic about turnover this Christmas. He expects sales volume to amount to 6 million euros this month for the Attica store inside the Golden Hall mall in northern Athens, and to 14 million for the one at the CityLink mall in the center of the capital.

Lambropoulos highlights that sales of even the healthiest enterprises have declined by up to 30 percent this year, although malls generally seem to have suffered smaller losses.