Christmas shopping less vibrant this year

LESS VIBRANT. Due to the global health and economic crisis, retailers expect consumers to forgo Christmas shopping amid the huge discounts in the market. (SunStar file)

THE business community in Cebu foresees more subdued Christmas retail activities for this year due to the pandemic as industries continue to struggle with low consumer spending.

With shoppers choosing to stay at home, Robert Go, spokesman of the Philippine Retailers Association, said Christmas-related items will not sell as much as in the previous years.

“This year, there will be no Christmas unlike every year where Christmas is full of joy and expectation. There are no expectations this year since we don’t expect any normalcy by December. People will still stay at home except for those who need to work and go out,” he told SunStar Cebu.

Go said they don’t expect large numbers of people shopping for Christmas gifts or clothes.

“Christmas-related items are not expected to sell this year. Goods like clothing, furniture, general merchandise, houseware, bags, personal wear and fashion stocks are still in store since March and these are expected to still be there by Christmas. We don’t expect to buy new Christmas-related items for selling because we don’t expect them to sell. Whatever is left over last year, that’s it. There will be no new items,” he said.

Go said bargain hunters might like to hunt now because everything is cheap.

“The best time to buy is now. However, people have no money since many have been laid off,” he said.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said the local economy should still be propped up.

“Consumer confidence and spending are still at an all-time low,” Taguiam said.

Steven Yu, president of Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, affirmed that they have not seen any pickup in the sales volume of holiday-related products.

“We expect an increase in November with a bigger surge in the first two weeks of December. Assuming no spike in cases, we expect a slightly vibrant Christmas. People will celebrate mostly at home. We see the consumer downgrading their purchase decisions to choose cheaper alternatives,” he said. (JOB)


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