Vienna retail trade hopes for €350mn Xmas turnover

Businesses in Vienna expect significantly more than 300 million Euros of turnover this Christmas, according to research.Brigitte Jank, head of the Viennese Economy Chamber (WKW), said today (Thurs): “We are convinced to do well this Christmas.”Jank explained the city’s economy expected to make a turnover of 350 million Euros selling gifts ahead the upcoming festive season.The WKW boss explained polls have shown that every resident of the capital planned to buy seven presents this year, the same figure as last year. Jank stressed that Viennese people were expected to spend 360 Euros per capita on gifts, around 10 Euros more than ahead of last Christmas.Jank said she did not expect the recently announced budget cuts and tax increases set to come into effect next year to have an impact on people’s spending.The majority of Vienna residents will do the vast part of their Christmas shopping next month (December). Just one out of five told researchers they will buy gifts already this month.Shops in Vienna suffered a 0.6 per cent year on year decline in turnover in 2009 when they raked in 9.5 billion Euros. Turnover of the retail trade in Austria’s nine provinces, however, did well last year as it managed to raise its turnover by 1.3 per cent compared to 2008 to 48.6 billion Euros. Economists expected the figure to shrink due to the effect the credit crunch may have on people.Austrians’ spending power jumped by 4.6 per cent year on year in 2009 despite the economic crisis, according to KMU Forschung Austria. The agency said Austrians had around 135 billion Euros of disposable income to spend last year.GfK reported that Vienna city centre residents have the second-highest spending power in German-speaking Europe with 43,292 Euros ahead of people living in Höfe am Zürichsee (Lake Zurich), Switzerland (48,971 Euros). Nine of Austria’s top ten districts lie in Vienna, with Mödling – which is located just south of Vienna – coming fourth.Swiss have an average spending power of 27,123 Euros, while Austrians have 19,664 Euros available per year. Germany comes third with an average 18,904 Euros.Market research agency RegioPlan said recently that the Austrian retail sector will have a turnover of 1.75 billion Euros this year from the sale of Christmas presents, up by three per cent year on year.Studies have shown that turnover of bookshops, jewellers and the toy-making industry has been twice as high in the weeks before Christmas than during the rest of the year.Books and vouchers are regularly identified as Austrians’ most popular presents. Industry experts, however, expect clothes sales to soar this year – despite warnings that textile prices would increase shortly due to higher cotton trade rates following dramatic crop shortages.News that Viennese retail trade is expected to do well ahead of this Christmas comes only weeks after Jank said it expected the upcoming ball season to bring more than 70 million Euros to the city’s economy.The WKW head said people attending the more than 450 balls taking place in the capital between this month and next March will spend around 74 million Euros on taxi rides, tickets, visits to the hairdresser and other services.