Aigner told Monday's edition of the daily Rheinische Post that businesses were under no legal obligation either to refund money for unwanted presents, nor even to offer credit for another gift of equal value.
“If a shop takes back its goods and reimburses the paid price, then that happens out of pure willingness,” Aigner said.
“If a customer in a shop decides on a particular item and buys it, then he makes a purchase agreement with the trader. The buyer is just as bound by this agreement as the seller and both sides must be able basically to trust the legal validity of the agreement.”
Germany's retailers were expecting a bumper Christmas shopping period – indeed the best in years, the German Retail Federation said late last week. It predicted sales to jump by
“The people have not let the chaotic weather spoil their shopping,” said spokesman Stefan Genth.