For commerce, December is traditionally the most important month in terms of sales, and the expectations for the success of Christmas sales are high. On the other hand, retail trade sales in December have started to stabilise slightly in the 2010s by spreading over other months.
Whereas Decembers in 2000─2010 the gap between December sales and the annual average was 27 per cent, in 2011─2020 it was 22 per cent, and last year it was just 18 per cent.
“In some speciality and household goods trade sectors, the Black Friday phenomenon has moved some of the Christmas season sales to November. This is especially evident in household technology and clothing and sporting goods trade,” says Simo Hiilamo, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Finnish Commerce Federation.
This is not only about the Christmas season coming earlier in November; different campaigns and smaller seasons distribute commerce around the calendar year.
Many speciality goods stores depend on successful Christmas sales
Retail trade sales grow in December by about one-fifth compared to the monthly average for the year.
“Even though the relative importance that December has for the daily consumer goods trade has diminished, December is still by far the biggest month for sales for grocery stores and supermarkets. The success of Christmas trade in department stores and many areas of the speciality goods trade is critical,” Hiilamo emphasises.
Last year, overall retail trade sales subject to value added tax totalled a little over EUR 5.2 billion in December, or EUR 1,150 for every resident of Finland aged 15–85. December sales amounted to about EUR 1,880 per household.
In December 2021, the increase in sales (including value added tax) brought on by the Christmas season was, in addition to the monthly average, EUR 798 million. In other words, the increase in sales due to the Christmas season was EUR 175 per each resident in Finland aged 15–85 and EUR 285 per household.
The increase due to the November and December seasons was EUR 188 per person aged 15–85, and EUR 307 per household.
Appendices: Statistics Finland, Trade estimates in euros. The figures have been rounded.
Liite: Joulukauppa 2022
For further information, please contact:
Simo Hiilamo, Director, Public Policy and Advocacy at the Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)50 350 7564, simo.hiilamo(at)kauppa.fi
Heidi Lauttamäki, Economist, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358(0) 50 565 0790, heidi.lauttamaki(at)kauppa.fi