German retail was disappointed again this year with the volume of sales in physical stores this Christmas season. “For the second time in a row, the Christmas season was a catastrophe for retail,” said Stefan Genth, general secretary of the German Retail Federation (HDE), citing a survey of 750 companies.
“Many retail businesses are in disillusionment and fear for their survival.” He pointed
The HDE secretary explained that the Christmas business got off to a good start in November, but Germany later introduced rules to curb infections with coronavirus that required presenting the corresponding vaccination certificate or having recovered from covid-19 to enter the premises.
Genth added that these restrictions caused a drop in income and the influx of public to the stores.
The federation detailed that more than three-quarters of non-food product retailers were dissatisfied with their Christmas results.
Regulations cause catastrophe in physical stores
The HDE survey revealed that physical store sales in the week before Christmas averaged 35 percent below pre-crisis levels.
The HDE stressed that the situation in German city centers was especially bad, as sales there plummeted 36 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, while the influx of the public fell by 42 percent.
In view of these results, the HDE reiterated its request that the State provide prompt assistance to the affected companies.
In contrast, online commerce was more active. According to the BEVH federation, the disruption of supply chains and pandemic-related restrictions applied in physical stores led many to rely on e-commerce when buying gifts.