Survey by the trade association: Retailers expect good Christmas business – but not in city centers


The retail trade in Germany expects an increase over the previous year in the important Christmas business – but because of the consequences of the Corona crisis, many retailers, especially in the city centers, are worried about the future.
“The prospects for the Christmas business this Corona year are worryingly bad, especially for many inner-city retailers and especially the fashion houses there,” said the chief executive of the trade association, Stefan Genth, on Sunday with a view to an association survey. “In the end, entire city centers could be lost.”

The HDE expects sales to increase by 1.2 percent to EUR 104 billion for November and December compared to the same period last year. Nevertheless, due to the extension of the partial lockdown in the run-up to Christmas, more than half of those surveyed expect significantly fewer customers and falling sales in December. “Even in the corona crisis, people buy a lot of Christmas gifts, but they buy them online more often than usual,” said Genth according to a message. The online trade is likely to increase its sales by around a third.

45 percent of downtown retailers are threatened

In the city centers, however, dealers see black. Almost every second respondent (45 percent) sees his entrepreneurial existence threatened because of the corona pandemic and the countermeasures, almost two thirds (62 percent) are pessimistic about the further course of the Christmas business. Typically, many traders make the bulk of their sales in November and December. “If those sales fail now, a lot of businesses will be in trouble,” Genth said.

The HDE calls for an inner city fund to strengthen the city centers and a digitization fund so that SMEs who are innocently in need can invest in their future.

Because of the fear of being infected with the coronavirus, shopping behavior has changed, many people no longer stroll through the city centers, but go shopping more specifically – or order online.

In the week before the first Advent, according to HDE information, Christmas decorations and advent calendars were in particular demand. In general, the business with household goods, home improvement supplies, furnishings and food is “currently satisfactory, in some cases very well.”
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