Bonn/Region The retail trade in Bonn and the region is satisfied with the business on the first Advent weekend. The crowded city centres at the weekend might also be connected to Black Friday.
Retailers in the region were satisfied with business on the first Saturday of Advent. The city was packed and many passers-by carried shopping bags, reported Jannis Vassiliou, chairman of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg-Euskirchen retail trade association on Sunday. " For retailers, this was a good start to the Christmas business," Vassiliou added. In his view, the hunt for bargains on Black Friday might have carried over to Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon, the chairman of the association had telephoned some of the approximately 8,500 dealers in the association's area. According to Vassiliou, the efforts of over-the-counter trade to retain customers in competition with online retailers are slowly bearing fruit. "Consumers are also aware of this," he explained.
Sales were also satisfactory throughout in North Rhine-Westphalia. Most of the expectations had been fulfilled, the Nordrhein-Westfalen–Rheinland trade association announced. Most retailers expected to finish the first Advent weekend with sales that were the same or slightly up on the previous year. Many customers used Saturday for a pre-Christmas wander and for advice in shops about potential gifts.
"Christmas decorations and the first St. Nicholas Day presents have already been purchased," said Björn Musiol, a advisor for the trade association. The expectations for continued Christmas sales are positive. Many of the businesses questioned presumed that the trend for last-minute shopping will continue this year and that many will buy their presents only one or two weeks before Christmas Eve.
(Original text; Ulla Thiede and the dpa; translation John Chandler)