Traders expect a bigger festive turnover this year than last December’s 3.6 billion euros.
Commercial stores and supermarkets will be open today, the second and last working Sunday for this year, as part of the festive schedule ahead of Christmas 2022.
The opening hours of commercial stores proposed by the Athens Chamber of Commerce for the festive season of Christmas 2022, provide that on Sunday, December 18, 2022, commercial stores will open at 11:00 in the morning and close at 18:00. Shopping centers will close at 20:00, while supermarkets will also be open.
The opening hours of the shops proposed by the Athens Chamber of Commerce are as follows:
Sunday 11/12/2022 11:00-18:00
Monday 12/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Tuesday 13/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Wednesday 14/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Thursday 15/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Friday 16/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Saturday 17/12/2022 09:00-18:00
Sunday 18/12/2022 11:00-18:00
Monday 19/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Tuesday 20/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Wednesday 21/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Thursday 22/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Friday 23/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Saturday 24/12/2022 09:00-18:00
Sunday 25/12/2022 Closed
Monday 26/12/2022 Holiday
Tuesday 27/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Wednesday 28/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Thursday 29/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Friday 30/12/2022 09:00-21:00
Saturday 31/12/2022 09:00-18:00
Sunday 1/1/2023 Closed
Monday 2/1/2023 Holiday
Smiles of optimism in the commercial world from the festive market traffic
The festive movement in the market has started satisfactorily, according to the estimations of the commercial world which expects to develop much better in the last two weeks of the year and to “warm up” with the Christmas gift to the workers of the private sector. After the first exploratory Sunday of December, the shops are open today, the second and last working Sunday for this year.
At the same time, traffic is also increasing in supermarkets with consumers taking advantage of the offers and the household basket to organize the festive table in time. The Minister of Development and Investments, Adonis Georgiadis, has stated that the controls will be permanent and extensive throughout the market, while noting: “we will see these weeks, until January 4, how the products will go in the festive basket so that we can to make other decisions along the way.”
In addition, although the Santa Claus basket seems to have won both consumers and toy businesses from the first day of implementation, the minister notes in his statements that this basket will also be under constant monitoring.
The Ministry of Development and Investments, according to information from APE-MPE, has other baskets ready in its quiver, such as a basket for liquid fuels, for which the relevant electronic application is complete and will be activated by the political leadership of the ministry, if and whenever this is deemed necessary.
Traditional trade recovers part of the lost turnover
“This year’s festive traffic in the market has started satisfactorily and is expected to develop much better in the last two weeks of the year, culminating of course in the run-up to Christmas. After the first exploratory Sunday in December with the shops open, the second and last working Sunday for this year follows, with clearly greater shopping traffic, despite the disadvantage that the 13th salary in the private sector has not yet been paid,” the president told APE-MPE of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Piraeus Vassilis Korkidis. He also adds that the Christmas market, as usual, “heats up” with the Christmas gift, which must be paid by Wednesday 21 December and is estimated at around 1.6 billion euros.
Traders, as Mr. Korkidis emphasizes, are expecting a bigger festive turnover this year than last December’s 3.6 billion euros, while consumers are reasonably looking for affordable prices, commensurate with their “scissored” disposable income. For this very reason, consumers have at their disposal from December 14 to January 4 the “Christmas basket” and until January 11 the “Santa Claus basket” with children’s toys, in order to help households meet the family and their social obligations.
Year-to-date official figures show an “inflationary” but encouraging growth in retail turnover of more than 10% year-on-year and which is expected to be maintained through the December holiday season. The commercial world of the country is optimistic, according to Mr. Korkidis, that this year’s festive season can make up for part of the lost turnover of 2 billion euros, of the two previous years of the pandemic, as well as recover part of the turnover that for the same reason, shifted through e-commerce to cross-border businesses.
He also adds that on the internet and on the “e-shop map” there are 15,000 Greek businesses with an organized digital sales channel, but also several stores now have significant online annual sales that Greek buyers can choose primarily and safely. “We should also take into account that the e-Commerce package reached 6.1 billion euros in 2021 in our country, recording an increase of up to 40%, i.e. approximately 2 billion euros more than in 2020, with the number of transactions in the same period to increase by 20% and to have reached 125 million commercial transactions”.
“With the new consumer habits and preferences, no modern trader should see online trade as competitive, but complementary to the turnover of the physical headquarters of his store” emphasizes Mr. Korkidis. In particular, the first data of the relevant research show that since the lifting of the pandemic measures, it is observed that 1 in 2 internet users made a purchase via the internet at a percentage lower than last December’s measurement which reached 61%, more than double compared to the previous year. pandemic of December 2019 which was 26%. With reference to the “deprivation syndrome” created by the restrictions, this means that at least 50% of consumers who are classified as online shoppers will return to traditional holiday shopping this year, with a physical presence in stores. “The time until the end of the month is not long, but the intensity of consumption seems to be able to satisfy both large and small commercial enterprises this year,” he notes.
Despite the energy crisis and high inflation, the Greeks showed that they returned quite dynamically to the normality of their social and consumer life, with the categories of products sold showing a clear tendency to return to old habits and preferences. The highest demand rates are recorded in the ticket-hotel categories, followed by electrical-electronic items with 24%, clothing items with 20%, toys and gift items with 17%, cosmetics with 13% and other categories. “In fact, we will wait with interest to see how this year’s percentages will be shaped and to what extent the beautifully decorated shop windows and streets will attract consumers, so that in addition to the family walk, they will also make the usual purchases for gifts” underlines Mr. Korkidis. With regard to Attica, the commercial traffic is developing quite well in terms of traffic, while the continuation is expected to be better for the commercial in all the decorated and impressively LED-lit markets of Lekanopedi. According to him, it is obvious that the interest of consumers first attracts the festive center of Athens, the department stores, superstores and shopping centers, while the stores in the large and smaller regional markets of the cities of Attica follow without lagging behind.
Market expectations are strengthening
The commercial world expects a peak in the buying movement in the coming days with expectations being boosted by the payment of the Christmas gift which is expected to strengthen the consumer dynamics of the Greeks. “We have entered the heart of the commercial period,” says Makis Savvidis, vice president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce, vice president of GRECA and representative for Greece and member of the Board of the European Federation of Electronic Commerce, speaking to APE-MPE. “With the stores open, we expect consumers to come to the central and regional markets to do their shopping for the holidays,” he emphasizes and adds: “The peak of shopping traffic is expected from next week, when the Christmas gift will be paid.”
According to Mr. Savvidis, last year the turnover of retail businesses exceeded 3 billion euros during the festive season. “This year we expect the turnover of the retail trade to break the record of 4 billion euros” he emphasizes.
He also estimates that the dynamics of electronic sales will continue this year during the holidays. “Despite the fact that the market has opened up and everyone was expecting a decrease in traffic in online stores, this has not been confirmed. The opposite happened and the upward use of e-commerce and the internet in general in Greece continues,” he underlines.
According to him, the household basket also brings breath to consumers. As he points out, “The basket proposed and imposed by the government has produced results. The first figures showed that prices have fallen and over the course of a year the consumer saves a salary if he buys the products in the basket. This is important. There are omissions, there is a need to correct the basket, but this does not cease to cancel the success of the project”.
But how will consumers behave during the holiday season? This is what a recent NielsenIQ Consumer Insights study “Unwrapping Europeans Holiday Outlook” explores in which more than 800 consumers in Greece participated. The results showed that this year’s expected spending at Christmas is equal to or greater than last year. 45% of households in Greece say that their budget for food and drink at home or consumption outside the home, gifts and travel will be the same compared to 2021. 40% would like to spend less money on these categories this year, while it is noted that 15% of shoppers say they will increase their budget this coming holiday season.
According to the same survey, consumers say they are ready to take advantage of any discount event in order to purchase gifts, drinks and food items for the holidays in advance. Cheese (81%), fresh meat (74%) and Christmas sweets (64%) are the three most common food categories that consumers plan to buy at Christmas. While among the beverage categories, beers (61%) and wine (60%) will be added to the basket. Despite the fact that Greek consumers are looking for promotions, they will not hesitate to buy luxury products during Christmas: 25% of respondents say they will buy luxury products in the fresh meat category, while in the drinks category, luxury brands and items will be chosen between wines (20%) and champagnes (22%).
Among Christmas gifts, this year Greek consumers will choose to donate mainly clothes / shoes (55%) and toys (43%). Technology (28%), beauty (37%) and gifts that will give “Experience” (27%) to loved ones are high on the shopping list. 71% of consumers will visit the internet to get ideas and inspiration for the gifts they plan to give. The online store (69%) for technology products will be chosen as a purchase channel to a greater extent than the physical store (52%).
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