The German Trade Association (Handelsverband Deutschland) is expecting Christmas business to yield growth of around 3 per cent – the equivalent of EUR 94.5 billion across Germany – this year. Retailers in Hamburg are expecting turnover of around EUR 2.5 billion in November and December alone. Black Friday in late November proved a milestone and included numerous discount campaigns across Hamburg for the second year in a row.
Black Friday – most popular in Hamburg
Black Friday (November 24) and Cyber Monday (November 27) traditionally mark the start of Christmas business in Hamburg and some online traders turn the day into a cyber week. Originally from the United States, this discounts come after the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. The phenomenon of special reduced prices has since spread and is now a set date among German shoppers. According to a study by the social commerce network mydealz, Black Friday is most popular in Hamburg – like no other place in Germany. Ten out of ten interviewees know the shopping event and 85 per cent of Hamburg’s citizens intended to go bargain hunting. Brigitte Nolte, Managing Director of Handelsverband Nord, said: “We are expecting additional sales of around EUR 45 million.”
Popularity of gift vouchers and tickets
Similar to 2016, people in Hamburg intend spending EUR 451 on Christmas gifts this year, according to the annual Christmas Survey by FOM University of Applied Sciences putting them just below the average across Germany. Gift vouchers (51 per cent) topped the list of popular items followed by tickets for cultural and theatre events (48 per cent) and books and stationery in third place (45 per cent). People in Hamburg value good sales advice and quality (68 per cent). Most people in Hamburg purchase gifts from early to mid December and women generally buy earlier than men. However, some 9 per cent of men and around 3 per cent of women in Hamburg purchase gifts on December 23.
Tourists and numerous Christmas markets contributing to positive forecast
Nolte pointed out: “The divide between big and small is continuing. Digitalisation and reduced frequencies of passers-by are causing problems for smaller businesses.” Yet, Handelsverband Nord remains optimistic: “Hamburg benefits from its centrality as a metropolis, from the city’s attractiveness and the many tourists who we welcome again at Christmas time.” Consumers have an opportunity to go on a shopping spree to the many Christmas markets as well. The Christmas lights create a special, inviting atmosphere in many streets.
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