With just five shopping days to go before the traditional Dutch present-giving festival of Sinterklaas on December 5, shopkeepers are sounding the alarm about poor sales.
The Dutch retail association expects total sales to amount to €450m, down between 7% and 8% on last year. While shoppers are still buying as many presents, they are spending less cash per item, the association said.
Retail chains such as Hema, the Free Record Shop and Selexyz (books) all told Nos tv they would be pleased if sales equalled last year’s. A spokesman for Selexyz said the bad weather last week had also hit book sales. ‘When it is wet and windy, people do their shopping behind a pc,’ a spokesman said.
The online retailers association told Nos it expected a 37% increase in Sinterklaas-related sales this year, following a 25% increase in 2008.
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