Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Christmas Shopping Survey

 GRTU has for the past days been conducting a survey among shop owners in all business sectors.  Various comments were noted even from retailers selling the same items. We would like to point out that this is the first time that GRTU received such mixed reaction during the festive season.

Those surveyed are shop owners operating in gift shops, stationeries, jewellers, clothing outlets, footwear outlets, super/mini markets, services section, perfumery outlets, toy outlets, household goods and IT.

 

 

As general business during the festive season, when compared to the same period in 2007, none of the businesses registered an increase of more than 20%. Some 10% however registered an increase of 5 to 10% while 20% or respondents registered and increase under 5%. 50% reporte that the going of the businesses was the same as that of last year while 5 % said there was a slow down in the activity of under 5 % and an equal amount reported a decrease of 5% to 10%. A good 10% also reported a decrease from 20% to 40% however none went under 40%.

Some shop owners registering high sales were also playing it safe when it come to stocks, focusing on top-selling items.

Offers and incentive schemes proved to be very popular this year with 75% going for this option. In order to attract more customers and boost sales, some retail outlets started their sales early this Christmas, others offered gifts.

Various shop owners were of the opinion that the country is at the moment passing through a period of uncertainty and that consumers where refraining from spending their money due to the awaiting higher utility bills amongst the most popular reasons. Of those who opted for incentive schemes 45% felt that these improved their business performance and 20% felt it had a negative effect due to the increase in costs.

The busiest day registered was the 8th December. They expected this trend to last until Christmas Eve as in previous years, their hopes however did not materialise.

As for factors negatively effecting the going of the business the most popular answer with 50% was lack of consumer confidence, the financial crises with 35%, increase in the business expenses and increased competition.

Moreover, while sales are still underway businessmen are still complaining that business has not yet caught up. Mentioning reasons such as the global recession.

As for the business prospects for 2009 negativity prevails with 49% followed by probably a more worrying factor: uncertainty at 35%. 8% thought they were not expecting any changes for 2009 and another 8 % have positive prospects.

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