In December people spend more in stores than in any other month of the year. From decoration to greeting cards, from presents to organising parties; wishing to have perfect holidays, the shopping list is getting longer, which brings more people to stores.
In December 2017 retail trade was 14.0% higher than the average monthly result in 2017. At the same time, retail trade in December has been constantly growing. Compared to December 2016 retail trade in December 2017 went up by 5.1% and compared to December 2015 by 7.4%.
What do we prefer to 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. And an increasing number of people decide to buy things online.
In December 2017 the sale in stores with electronic and household appliances went up by 51.9% over the average monthly volume in 2017, in food stores by 16.6%, in stores with cosmetics and pharmaceutical products by 14.7% and in stores with clothing and footwear by 11.3%.
That people tend to spend more in December is shown by the increasing share of December sales at the annual level. In December 2017 the sale in retail trade was 5.1% higher than in December 2016, which was the largest annual increase after 2005. The sale grew in all observed groups, the most in stores with electronic and household appliances (by 18.0%) and the least in stores with clothing and footwear (by 0.8%).
Online and postal sale are also up in December. In December 2017 it was 19.8% higher than the monthly average of 2017 and 24.0% higher than in December 2016.
As regards holiday shopping, people in Slovenia are more careful than people in other EU Member States
Despite the much larger holiday spending than in the rest of the year, people in Slovenia are more careful than people in other EU Member States. Compared to the average of the entire year, in December 2017 the sale of non-food products in Slovenia went up by 11.6%. As regards other EU Member States, it increased less than in Slovenia only in Croatia (by 11.5%). On the other hand, it increased the most in the United Kingdom (by 37.7%). In December 2017 the sale of food products in Slovenia increased slightly less (by 16.6%) than in the EU overall (by 17.9%). As regards food products, the rise was the lowest in Croatia (by 3.7%) and the highest in Luxembourg (by 28.7%). At the same time, Slovenia was the only EU Member State besides Malta in which compared to the average of the entire year the sale of food products in December increased more than the sale of non-food products.
What do we prefer to buy for people closest to us?
The holiday season is the time to buy presents for people closest to us. Due to increased demand for products suitable for presents, traders stuff their shelves with the best-selling products, which shows in their import. Judging by the increased import in the months before December, people in Slovenian behave rather traditionally as regards buying presents.
As regards the value, in the end-of-the-year period in 2017 the import of toys increased the most. In the last third of the year EUR 44 million of toys were imported (39.2% of the annual imports), EUR 22 million of chocolate and chocolate candy (47.0% of the annual imports, EUR 11 million of perfumes (42.3% of the annual imports), just over EUR 1 million of sparkling wine (43.4% of the annual imports) and almost EUR 0.5 million of greeting cards and postcards (62.1% of the annual imports).
December is the most sociable month of the year
The holiday season before the New Year is also the time of increased expenditure in restaurants and similar establishments where people spend more in December than in any other month of the year. In December 2017 people in Slovenia spent on food and beverages in restaurants and similar establishments 11.0% more than on average in other months of the year. Consumption also increased compared to December 2016, i.e. by 9.1%.
Visiting festively decorated city centres
In December people also increasingly visit festively decorated city centres. The capital city of Ljubljana is particularly attractive. In December 2017 the number of arrivals of domestic tourists (spending at least one night) went up by 82.9% compared to the annual average. Similarly, arrivals in many other urban municipalities also went up in December (Murska Sobota by 53.6%, Slovenj Gradec by 41.3%, Maribor by 24.1% and Celje by 13.7%), while other urban municipalities are more attractive for domestic tourists in the remaining months of the year.
And how can we afford to spend so much during the holiday season?
To help with holiday spending, 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). For November 2017 the average extra payment amounted to EUR 660.39 gross, which was 11.0% more than for November 2016. In 2017 Christmas bonuses or 13th month payments were received by 21.3% of persons in paid employment, 3.0% more than for November 2016. The highest average extra payments were paid in information and communication (EUR 1,312.91 gross), while the highest share of persons in paid employment who received such payments were employed in financial and insurance activities (52.2%).