Inflation looms due to Christmas shopping, and families with frozen salaries are spending less. Historic shop owners suggest using the classic discount.
The people of Como are busy at the center again this year discussing the decorations, lights and projections on the facades, all interested in comparing the houses and the ice rink with previous Christmas events.
“Unfortunately, the biggest concern for our sector is the ability to spend – here’s why Graziano Monetti, Director of Confcommercio – The average family has less money in their pockets than in the past and must prioritize other chapters by putting gifts aside. Christmas shopping is definitely seeing a negative decline. Inflation eroded consumption and also weakened confidence. So purchases have been postponed.” The first real test of Christmas in Cuomo will be next weekend. The first weekend of the month gave an uninspiring result, however, the first data already show a minus compared to 2022.
“Historic stores and small businesses have already suffered losses of nearly 20% between October and November,” he explains Marco Cassina, Owner of PeterCi in Piazza Duomo and President of Federmoda of Confcommercio – After a strong recovery in 2022 which gave us high hopes, once the pandemic was over, the recovery in recent months faded away. International arrivals are saving some of our areas, but the average customer is suffering. Without feeling sorry for ourselves, we suggest reaching out to the most loyal people. Let’s go back to the old and very current discount.” Once you get an extra free product at checkout, or a few euros less on your receipt.
However, the value of the thirteenth this year has generally increased, but it is the prices of almost all product categories that have increased the most, leveling the capabilities of employees. “For Christmas shopping, the real problem isn’t the lights or the Christmas trees, it’s the workers’ salaries that have been stuck for years,” he says. Andrew Mountains, owner of the clothing store A.Gi.Emme on Via Vittorio Emanuele – The middle class continues to shrink its ranks, and the path seems set. Therefore, ordinary families are forced to cut out what is unnecessary. Fortunately, Como can still rely on Swiss and international tourism, which has different purchasing power. Home costs, mortgage, insurance, school fees and senior living come before the surprises under the tree. For obvious reasons, food is always the merchandise most likely to be purchased anyway.
“But we, traders in this sector, must also find viable alternatives at lower prices – he comments Francis Pizzuto, the son of the owner of the Da Gigi wine shop in Via Luini – to reward the best customers who have less money to spend today. Obviously food, especially wine for us, is sold out anyway. The difference is made by the purchasing power of ordinary families.”
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