Traders displayed their wares at the Varvakeios Market in central Athens yesterday as the Christmas shopping period began to show signs of a pickup. Shoppers have been gradually returning to the city center after weeks of violent protests had kept consumers away from stores during the busiest part of the year. Clothing retailer Sprider Stores cut its guidance for 2008 following the rioting, which left several of its stores damaged and forced others to close. Sprider cut its sales forecast to 155 million euros from 165 million previously. ‘The total destruction of the group’s main store combined with lighter damage in several other stores in Greece as well as the closure of several stores for security reasons have caused a trimming of turnover,’ the company said.