HDE spokesman Hubertus Pellengahr said Sunday that German Christmas shopping business had been unsatisfactory so far this year. There had been a "continual up and down", and now retailers are hoping for "a strong final spurt" in the two weeks to the holiday. Unlike last year, Pellengahr said, the final Advent weekend is likely to be the strongest.
But the HDE's prognosis remains that Christmas business is likely to be 1.5 percent below the level of last year.
Pellengahr said that in southern Germany sales were better, and he speculated, "The winterly cold weather there has warmed up the Christmas atmosphere and present-giving mood among consumers."
According to the HDE, there has been a renewed demand for classic toys like dolls and board games, while the consistently high demand for games consoles and video games had also continued. Merchandise related to the Twilight saga also received particular mention in the new report.
The biggest sellers for adults have been cameras, digital picture frames, winter clothing accessories, perfumes and cosmetics.