With the dismantling of the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, consumer mobility has once again increased, which will also have an impact on the stimulation of the Christmas trade. According to a member survey of the Finnish Commerce Federation, 29 per cent of stores expect Christmas trade to grow compared to last year and 13 per cent expect it to decrease. More than a quarter of the stores anticipate Christmas trade to start earlier, around Black Friday.
In recent years, the gap between the retail trade sales in December and the yearly average has narrowed. In Decembers in 2000─2010 the gap was 27 per cent, in 2011─2019 it was 22 per cent and last year it was just 19 per cent.
“In the 2010s, retail trade sales in December have started to stabilise slightly by spreading to other months. In some specialty and household goods trade sectors, the Black Friday phenomenon has moved some of the seasonal sales to November, especially in home technology and sporting goods. Various other campaigns and smaller seasons are already spreading the trade throughout the year,” says Simo Hiilamo, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Finnish Commerce Federation.
Some sports, electronics and fashion stores in particular anticipate an early Christmas season. There are also some problems with the availability of the products in these sectors. However, the problems are not critical to the operation of companies.
Successful Christmas trade is crucial for many speciality goods trade sectors
December is still by far the most important month in terms of sales for the Finnish commerce. Sales in December grow by about one-fifth compared to the monthly average for the year.
“The success of the Christmas trade in department stores and many areas of the speciality goods trade is almost critical. Even though the relative importance that December has for the daily consumer goods trade diminished in the 2010s, December is still by far the biggest month of sales for grocery stores and supermarkets,” Hiilamo emphasises.
In December last year, the overall retail trade sales subject to value added tax totalled approximately EUR 5 billion, or EUR 1,110 per every resident in Finland aged 15–85. December sales amounted to EUR 1,810 per household.*
In December 2020, the increase in sales (including value added tax) brought on by the Christmas season was, in addition to the monthly average, EUR 810 million. In other words, the increase in sales brought on by the Christmas season was EUR 178 per each resident in Finland aged 15–85 and EUR 290 per household.*
The increase brought on by the November and December seasons was EUR 185 per person aged 15–85, and EUR 302 per household.*
*Statistics Finland, Trade estimates in euros. The figures have been rounded off.
Christmas in speciality goods trade: Simo Hiilamo, Director, Public Policy and Advocacy at the Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)50 350 7564, simo.hiilamo(at)kauppa.fi
Statistics and studies: Jaana Kurjenoja, Chief Economist, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)40 820 5378, jaana.kurjenoja(at)kauppa.fi