Fabian Demicoli

First reactions on Christmas shopping

 The GRTU has this week conducted a find out amongst a sample of a variety of businesses that usually have their sale effected by purchases made during the festive season. GRTU is therefore able to provide you with a general comment of how business and Christmas shopping is at present. The businesses selected were from the following sectors: beverage distributors, household goods, confectionaries, footwear and clothing, hair and beauty salons, restaurants, jewelers and supermarkets.

The majority of those surveyed said that Christmas shopping caught up mostly after the feast of the 13th and that the level of sales where similar to that of last year with very few saying the sales have increased and slightly more, even though still few, saying sales declined compared to last year. The businesses that saw their sales rise this year said they worked very hard with promotions and offers to boost their chances of succeeding this festive season.

The majority also said that this outcome was expected since Malta is not immune to the effects of the crises. A few did however expect better as they thought the worse of the crises was over and that consumer confidence would be reinstated, however recent negativism once again dwindled consumer confidence, and people are once again cautious to spend. This might have delayed Christmas shopping a little but businesses are confident they will see a boost in Christmas shopping in the coming days.

We saw a difference in the views of the businesses according to the localities in which they operate. The worst views came from shops operated in Valletta. Owners having shops in Valletta, Sliema, Iklin, Hamrun, Melliha, St Julians and other localities say that the sales registered in Valletta were very negative. Sales in Valletta have been declining but this year was an unbelievable record. Owners say that consumers are disincentivised by a number of factors all at once to enter Valletta, namely embellishment works, less and less parking, lack of confidence in public transport, etc…

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