For this year’s Christmas business, the German Retail Association (Handelsverband Deutschland) expects an increase in turnover of two percent to 100 billion euros for the first time.

Retailers are only moderately satisfied with the start to this year’s Christmas business. According to a recent survey of 350 retailers of all sizes and from all sectors conducted by the German Retail Association (Handelsverband Deutschland, HDE), inner city retailers in particular are suffering from weak customer frequency. “All in all, company reports indicate that Christmas business has been slightly weaker than in the previous year,” says Stefan Genth, Managing Director of the HDE, summing up the second weekend in Advent.

Retailers in the city district centres, suburbs and industrial estates, on the other hand, were satisfied with their business. Companies offering their goods online and offline as well as larger businesses with annual sales of over two million euros also reported good sales. “Christmas sales at babymarkt.de started off with a bang, both online and stationary: Until now, Black Friday has been our absolute highlight this year, when we doubled our previous daily sales record. The rest of the pre-Christmas period is the icing on the cake for our very successful year 2018,” explains Bastian Siebers, babymarkt.de Managing Director. And Toys “R “Us is also very satisfied: “The Christmas business is going very well according to expectations and even surpasses them in some places in an extremely positive way. This applies both to our online shop and to our stationary branch business,” says press spokeswoman Marie-Charlotte von Heyking.

All in all, the HDE expects a sales increase of two percent for this year’s Christmas business. Growth in over-the-counter retailing will be just under one percent and in online retailing just under ten percent compared to the previous year. Not least because German consumers are digging deeper into their pockets for their Christmas shopping this year.

Germans spend an average of 427 euros on Christmas presents in 2018

At an average of 427 euros, Germans spend a good 1.4 percent more on Christmas gifts than in the previous year. This is the central result of a recent consumer survey of 56,000 German buyers conducted by the ifes Institute of the FOM Hochschule für Ökonomie und Management with the support of the HDE. For around 57 percent, the planned expenditure for gifts remains constant compared to the previous year, 25 percent of all respondents estimate their expenditure for this year to be slightly to significantly higher. Above all the generation of the Babyboomer at the age of 53 to 63 years spends with on the average 588 euro most on Weihnachtsgeschenke. The interviewees particularly frequently stated that they wanted to give presents to their partners (71.6 percent), followed by relatives (63.3 percent), parents (61.3 percent) and children (59.2 percent).

Gift certificate still the most popular Christmas gift

Gift vouchers are becoming more and more popular, and this year they will end up under one in two trees. No wonder, because those who are not completely sure about their choice of gift will be happy to fall back on this alternative. “Not least for this reason they are also very popular again this year with our customers,” says the Toys “R “Us press spokeswoman. But cosmetics and body care products (44 percent), books and stationery as well as concert and theatre tickets (42 percent each) are also still very popular with German donors. 38 percent of all respondents also give away toys. When selecting gifts, consumers rely primarily on personal recommendations from friends or acquaintances and on search engines on the Internet. Direct mailings from mail order companies, radio advertising and Facebook pages from dealers or manufacturers, on the other hand, have no relevance at all.

Shopping centers still ahead of Internet commerce

Anyone who thinks that stationary trade has had its day is mistaken. After all, 64 percent of German consumers prefer to buy their Christmas presents in broad-based shopping centers in the city, closely followed by online orders (60 percent). But specialist shops and department stores are also still very popular among the respondents. For nine out of ten consumers, the purchase of gifts from teleshopping stations plays no role at all, three quarters of all respondents find catalogue orders via mail order unimportant. 70 percent of consumers also consider a visit to factory outlets or outlet centres to be unimportant for obtaining Christmas presents.

 

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Link: FOM University Christmas Survey

Image: iStock

//JF