Holiday Season Spending Estimated at 12 Billion Kuna

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December is traditionally the record-breaking month for Croatian retailers.

The Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) estimates that during this year’s December Croatian citizens will spend a little more than 12 billion kuna, which is half a billion kuna more than in December last year, said on Friday assistant director of the HGK Trade Department Tomislava Ravlić, reports on November 25, 2016.

During December, toys and products for children, footwear, clothing and electronic equipment are usually the best-selling items. The top selling period in December is the weekend before Christmas and the period from 19 to 24 December, said Ravlić at a press conference.

Every third product bought during December belong to the food and drinks group, said Ravlić, adding that the figures in the last two years show that in the last quarter there is an increase in purchases done with credit cards. “The trends in Europe show that citizens are increasingly turning to domestic products, and therefore I would like to invite everybody to buy Croatian products”, added Ravlić, inviting consumers to give priority to Croatian products and retailers to offer as many local products as possible. “With the purchase of Croatian products we encourage consumption which is, together with exports and investments, one of the most important factors in launching a new business cycle”, she added.

Director of the HGK Trade Department Ema Culi said that retail in the last three months (July, August and September) recorded an average growth of 4.7 percent, which is an above-average growth rate since 2007. The growth of the real turnover is seen on the cumulative level as well. In the first nine months of this year, it increased by 3.7 percent compared to the same period last year, but is still lower, by 12.2 percent, compared to the same period in 2008. “We expect that this year the retail turnover could increase by at least 3.2 percent compared to last year, thanks to higher consumer optimism and a two-year continuous growth of turnover”, she said.

Ravlić does not expect the current situation with salmonella and food safety issues will significant impact the holiday spending. “Citizens will be more careful not to buy products from companies where salmonella was found, but will buy similar products from other companies or will turn to other types of products”, she said.

Culi added that the problems with salmonella have been reflected in the drop in sales of meat products by about 30 percent. The greatest decline in sales has been recorded with frozen chicken and fresh turkey breast. “We expect that inspections will continue to do their job and that such products will be removed from the market, but if such a situation were to continue it might have an impact on domestic production. However, given the efforts of all relevant authorities, we expect the situation to stabilize soon”, said Culi.


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