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Last minute shoppers give high street boost

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Photo: DPA
10:37 CET+01:00
The German retail industry received a much needed last minute boost this year, as panicking present-hunters logged off from the Internet and flocked to the shops in the week before Christmas.

Despite being too early for exact figures, the German Retail Federation (HDE) said on Monday that otherwise dwindling sales had picked up at the last minute, Der Spiegel news magazine reported.

In Berlin, perfume was a popular buy among desperate men rushing to find something for their loved ones while “under massive pressure,” said spokesman from the HDE Günter Päts. He added that when men were shopping last minute, money tended not to be a factor.

Shops in south western states had suffered badly during December as rainy weather deterred people from heading into town and seemed to push them onto the internet, where Christmas shopping turnover rose by 27.3 percent to €5.6 billion.

Shops in Hesse, central Germany, boomed though – its residents spent on average €256 on presents each. This was, the HDE said, way above the national average of €230.

Experts from the HDE have estimated a turnover of €80.4 billion from the festive season, which is an increase of just 1.5 percent on last year – lower than the rate of inflation.

But this could pick up as the Christmas shopping season technically stretches until New Year's Eve, said Päts. This short span of time was vital for the industry as it was then that Germans headed out to spend gift money and vouchers.

Story continues below…

The Local/jcw

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