Corona crisis dampens the mood to buy before Christmas: Almost every third Berliner wants to spend less money on gifts – Berlin


An indication of the particularly bad consumer mood in the Corona year: Almost every third person (30 percent) would like to spend less money on Christmas gifts than in 2019. This is the result of the annual survey by Berliner Sparkasse, which is available exclusively to the Tagesspiegel. In the previous year, only 19 percent had announced more thrift.

Almost 54 percent wanted to spend as much money as in 2018 and a good eleven percent even more. Today, however, only 48 percent of those surveyed want to spend the same amount of money and a small minority – eight percent – more.

The survey is considered representative and thus confirms the nationwide trend as an economic indicator. The Institut info GmbH interviewed exactly 1005 over-16s from the twelve districts on behalf of the Sparkasse between the end of October and mid-November.

This year, the polls also asked how spending behavior has changed as a result of the pandemic. Result: Almost one and one in four (22.8 percent) stated that they had less money available because of Corona.

Even the reduction in VAT from 19 to 16 percent by the end of the year does not seem to improve the buying mood. 22 percent said they are looking forward to the festival less this year because of Corona, ten percent say they are more excited than usual.

What all high-risk patients should be happy about: A good half of those surveyed said even before the holiday regulations were announced that they would celebrate in a smaller group. And every fourth person wanted to cancel travel plans weeks ago because of Corona.

Many want to buy online – to the suffering of the shopkeeper

Meanwhile, shop operators are likely to be concerned that only 28 percent want to get gifts this year “mostly or exclusively” in stationary retail, 43 percent buy “mainly” online, according to the figures.

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On the wish list is what is sorely missed this year: In addition to the traditional top wish of books / literature, this time almost 38 percent stated vacation / travel as a wish, 36 percent would be happy to be invited to dinner (multiple answers were possible here) .

Christmas market at Potsdamer Platz. Mulled wine stands and stalls are ready to open. But the big hype should be this year …Foto: imago images/Andreas Gora

“Berlin, with its strong focus on hospitality, tourism and entertainment, has been hit particularly hard by the economic consequences of the corona pandemic,” says Uwe Dürkop, chief economist at the Sparkasse. “At the same time, for example, the food retail trade, online and mail order business and the ICT industry have grown – so Berlin professionals feel the financial crisis very differently.”

According to an online survey of the members of the Association of Berlin Merchants and Industrialists (VBKI), almost 90 percent expect a wave of bankruptcies as a result of the pandemic. Almost half of entrepreneurs (46 percent) suffer from a drop in sales as a result of the pandemic.

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A total of 15 percent even recorded a drop in sales of more than 50 percent compared to the previous year. However, around 36 percent also speak of stable sales (plus / minus five percent), and more than seven percent were even able to increase them. A good 37 percent of those surveyed state that they have already made use of state corona aid.

“Despite all the encouraging news about vaccine development, for example – it is the minor tones that accompany Berlin’s business community as they look to the future,” said VBKI President Markus Voigt.

Under the impression of a stagnating infection rate at a high level and measures to combat pandemics, the duration and scope of which are difficult to assess, there is great uncertainty among Berlin’s entrepreneurs and self-employed. “However, the state support measures seem to have prevented worse things so far,” admitted Voigt.

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