Retail expects to stay “close” to sales for the 2019 Christmas season | Economy

The president of the Spanish Confederation of Commerce (CEC), Rafael Torres, predicted that in this Christmas campaign the sector “probably” will end “better” than last year and even if it does not reach the level of the last one, before the pandemic , in 2019, expects to stay “close”. This was stated in statements to Servimedia by the head of the retail trade association, which represents more than 430,000 merchants from all over the country, about the prospects for the sector for this Christmas campaign.

Torres explained that small businesses are perceiving a “better than expected” campaign in which, despite the fact that the prospects for 2023 “are not very rosy”, customers are making a “temporary spending effort” due to Christmas circumstances. . In addition, he pointed out that the weather is helping, among other things: although it has taken time to get cold, the textile now “is moving well”.

To understand the comparison forecast compared to last year, the president of the CEC recalled that the 2021 campaign was “good” until mid-December due to the wave of the omicron variant, after which “many purchases were suspended relatives”, leaving a second half of December and a “hard” January, in which “inflation was beginning to rise”.

However, despite this possible improvement, Torres pointed out that his forecast for 2022 was to end up below the sales of 2021 because the year “has not been easy” and he lamented the little growth that awaits the Spanish economy next year. that is coming, in which “everything is more expensive and there is less purchasing power”. What happens in the new year, he says, will depend on “how prices moderate” and possible “surprises” that may occur, whether health, China’s behavior or the war in Ukraine. “If inflation can be contained, it will be less bad than we expect, because the more purchasing power and more money in your pocket, the better it will be.”

shop window lights

In November, the sector demanded for Christmas to provide “reasonable flexibility” to the cut-off time for shop windows beyond ten o’clock at night, which the Government approved in August to promote the energy saving. Torres regretted that the Executive’s response was negative, influenced by the image of irresponsibility that could be transferred to Brussels.

For trade, this flexibility would have been a “gesture” by a government that “understands” the sector “at such a delicate and important moment” in which many are at stake “between 30% and 35% of their turnover ”. Although he acknowledged that it is “impossible” to quantify the impact of turning off shop windows, he pointed out that it is a “psychological” issue in a period in which there is “much more movement on the streets” until “later than normal” compared to the rest of the year . In addition, he criticized that “it does not make sense” that while the municipalities keep the Christmas lights on until after midnight, the shop windows go out at 10:00 p.m. “If we are in savings code, we are all”, he complained.

Torres insisted that the windows “have a function” since they generate a “wake-up effect on the consumer” and his intention was to reduce government control only during the five weeks of the campaign. “It will not solve the life of anyone, but it provides more weapons,” he said.

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