European Shoppers Continue to Spend


Even though Americans are cutting back this holiday season in lieu of the economic recession, European consumers are continuing to shop and that’s great news for overseas retailers who diligently remain optimistic about holiday sales for 2009. The key difference between shopping in the U.S. and overseas is that many U.S. retailers have been forced to discount merchandise in an effort to drive traffic and maintain sales, while stores in Europe have chosen to forgo that route and solicit customers instead with holiday cookies, champagne, special shopping nights and even Russian dancers (as seen at Printemps in Paris and Selfridges in London). In Spain stores are doing their best to continue to entice customers who remain cautious about overspending this holiday season. Popular tactis include Sunday openings, one-day sales, exclusive in-store promotions and targeted price points to solicit even the most resilient customer. In France, major department store Printemps decorated their store windows with Dior and Chanel to inspire holiday shoppers. In Italy, sales continue to remain upbeat and reps from major department store La Rinascente say holiday sales are up from last year. In London sales continue to be favorable for many retailers including Liberty who has said that as a store they are experiencing double-digit increases for the full year. Ed Burstell, buying direct at London’s Liberty also noted that events that have been planned to encourage people to shop are working including Fashion’s Night Out (held in September) and the creation of a “pedestrian zone” on Oxford St. and Regent St. on December 5th. At Selfridges, marketing director Sally Scott reported to Women’s Wear Daily that sales for 2009 were outperforming 2007 and 2008 (despite the fact that both of those years were record-breaking for the company.)

Source: Women's Wear Daily

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