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Sale in December

End-of-the-year shopping is calming down

December is the month shoppers open their wallets the widest. In the last month of the year more money is spent in stores than in any other month. Despite the increase in end-of-year shopping, in December 2018 expenditure in Slovenia grew slightly less than in previous years.

  • 11/27/2019
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In December 2018 retail trade was 15.3% higher than the average monthly result in 2018. People bought more than in December 2017, but growth was slightly lower than in the previous years. Compared to December 2017, retail trade in December 2018 went up by 1.4%, which is 3.8 percentage points less than if we compare December 2017 with December 2016.

What do we buy during the holiday season?

During the holiday season the sale of electronic and household appliances increases the most. Increasingly popular items are also cosmetics and clothing, as well as food products. An increasing number of people decide to buy things online.

In December 2018 the sale in stores with electronic and household appliances went up by 37.4% over the average monthly volume in 2018, in food stores by 19.0%, and in stores with cosmetics and pharmaceutical products by 16.3%.

Growth in December sales at the annual level shows that in December 2018 people bought more than in December 2017 but growth was lower than in December 2017. The sale grew the most in stores with cosmetics and pharmaceutical products (by 8.4%) and furniture (by 7.9%), while in stores with books, textile and footwear, and food products it declined.

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Online and postal sale is also up in December. In December 2018 it was 35.4% higher than the monthly average of 2018 and 53.5% higher than in December 2017 (this was the highest increase after 2008).

As regards holiday shopping, people in Slovenia are more prudent than people in other EU Member States

Despite much larger holiday spending than in the rest of the year, people in Slovenia are more prudent than people in other EU Member States. Compared to the average of the entire year, in December 2018 the sale of non-food products in Slovenia went up by 12.0%, which ranks Slovenia last in the EU. For example, in the same comparison expenditure on non-food products in the UK grew three times more than in Slovenia. Slightly more than on non-food products was spent in the same comparison on food products (19.0% growth), which is slightly more than in the EU overall (16.4% growth). More than in Slovenia was spent on food products in December compared to the monthly average of 2018 in Lithuania, Hungary, Portugal, France and Luxembourg.

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People are quite traditional as regards buying presents

The holiday season is the time to buy presents, which reflects in increased import of products appropriate for presents. The data on import show that classical presents are still the most popular.

As in the previous years, in the 2018 holiday season the import of toys increased the most. In the last third of the year EUR 55 million of toys (39.8% of the annual imports), EUR 24.5 million of chocolate and chocolate candy (48.3% of the annual imports), EUR 10 million of perfumes (47.1% of the annual imports), EUR 4 million of stockings (38.7% of the annual imports) and almost EUR 0.5 million of greeting cards and picture postcards (63.1% of the annual imports) were imported. 

 
December is the most sociable month of the year

The holiday season before the New Year is also the time people spend more in restaurants and similar establishments. In December 2018 people in Slovenia spent on food and beverages in restaurants and similar establishments 9.5% more than on average in other months of the year. Consumption also increased compared to December 2017, i.e. by 9.6%.

In December people also increasingly visit festively decorated city centres. The capital city of Ljubljana and the second largest city Maribor are particularly attractive. Compared to the monthly average of 2018, in December 2018 the number of arrivals of domestic tourists (spending at least one night) in municipality Ljubljana went up by 50.0%, while in municipality Maribor it went up by 33.0%.

How can we afford to spend so much during the holiday season?

To help with holiday spending in December, average monthly earnings for November – which are paid in December – are higher as a result of higher extra payments (13th month payments and Christmas bonuses).


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