14.11.2012

Christmas retail sales forecast to grow by 2.5% in Finland

Finnish consumers are expected to increase spending during the Christmas season despite economic uncertainties.

Christmas retail sales will grow by about 2.5% in Finland despite the current economic uncertainties, according to a forecast by the Federation of Finnish Commerce. “Consumer confidence in the economy is currently low so 2-3% growth is a positive thing,” says Jaana Kurjenoja, chief economist of the federation. Last year retail sales in Finland increased by 3.6% during the Christmas season, according to Statistics Finland.

The Christmas season that officially starts from the beginning of December is the most important period of the year in many retail sectors. The total value of the retail trade in Finland usually increases by about 25% compared to the average monthly sales. In the daily consumer goods sector the increase is about 20%, whereas department stores can enjoy sales growth of more than 60%.

Major sales boost

The Christmas season is especially important for bookshops and goldsmiths where sales can more double from their usual level. For goldsmiths, Christmas sales account for up to a fifth of their annual sales. Other product groups that enjoy a major sales boost in December include home appliances, IT and electronics, toys and alcohol, all of which increase their sales by up to 50%. Sales of clothes and shoes usually increase by about a third, while sales of sports equipment go up by a third in December.

“The sales of IT goods and phones has grown very fast earlier this year and this trend will also continue during Christmas. In recent years people have also started buying gift vouchers during the Christmas season which is visible, for example, in stores selling youth fashion products,” says Kurjenoja.

Source: Federation of Finnish Commerce