Athens, December 29, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
“Due to the lack of disposable income, but mainly due to the uncertainty of the recent political developments, the expectations, at least until today, have been proven wrong”, said the president of EERA Vassilis Korkidis.
The main conclusion is the further reduction of consumption. The majority of the local markets believe that there was a fall in sales in shops in the area, compared to the previous festive season of Christmas. Most small and medium traders speak of an average reduction of commercial traffic in the order of 6-8% in the markets of major urban centers and about 10% in the regional markets.
The record decline in Christmas demand was made in 2012, with the record low of -30%, while in 2013 the decline in retail trade had exceeded 10%.
For another year the Christmas gift of the private sector was dedicated to festive markets in the period before Christmas. 70% of the total commercial traffic of holiday spending takes place during the period before Christmas, and the remaining 30% between Christmas and New Year, since the wages of December and the Christmas bonus hardly last until the New Year.
The day with the largest buying traffic, according to the evidence to date was two days before Christmas, which according to five in 10 traders was the best day in terms of purchasing traffic and turnover. For 3 out of 10, the best day was Christmas Eve. Admittedly, shops did not have a significant turnover on Sunday 14/12, while according to 2 out of 10, they worked very well on Sunday 21/12 before Christmas.
The representatives of the trade sector emphasise that the general public mainly seeks the most affordable products. Even those who shopped during the hilidays have spent 20% less in comparison to previous years. Typically, while the average of the total value of purchases for Christmas gifts in Europe of “28” was 488 Euros, in Greece it was 406 Euros.
From the first comparative market data, it appears that the industry which showed the greatest reduction in demand of Christmas is the category of clothing and footwear. This year continued the trend of the consumer shift to small presents, more symbolic in nature, with dynamic selection of gadgets. A positive point is the fact that this shift in preference prevented the decrease in demand for books. As expected, the most spending was observed in food and children’s products/games, ie the two sectors that have proven to be more resistant to cuts of festive spending.
“If the results of trade in the Christmas period are confirmed with the turnover of the New Year and continue during the winter sales, then the situation will be particularly worrying for the future of commercial enterprises. For this reason, with particular emphasis, ESEE had asked many times and on time, prudence, consent and understanding of the political forces in the country, to avoid a situation of uncertainty, which eventually overstretched this year as well the Greek market, even the Christmas period”, said Korkidis.