Holiday sales turnover falls by 8-10 pct

Retail commerce saw Christmas turnover plunge 500 million euros compared to last year as the problem of diminished disposable incomes was exacerbated by the negative timing due to political uncertainty in the country.

According to the head of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurship and Commerce (ESEE), Vassilis Korkidis, Christmas turnover dropped by 8 to 10 percent from a year earlier, which translates into a loss of half a billion euros. December sales slumped to 6.3 billion euros in total, from 6.8 billion in December 2013. Private consumption per capita shrank by an estimated 20 percent this Christmas, to 325 euros from 406 euros in 2013.

As usual the biggest decline was seen in the furniture sector, amounting to 70 percent, followed by cosmetics (down 40 percent), electrical and electronic goods (30 percent) and apparel (20 percent). Food, children’s clothes and toys fared better than last year, as did books.

The market is now pinning its hopes on the upcoming winter sales, which begin on January 12 and last up until the end of February, although expectations are low given that the first weeks will be during the election period.