Christmas is likely to be more modest for many people this year. In view of the rapid inflation, many average earners already have to fall back on savings: According to an EY survey, every second person only buys the bare essentials.
However, there is a ray of hope: some typical Christmas goods are even cheaper than last year. A look at the statistics shows that. And: Chocolate Santa Clauses and Christmas biscuits are likely to be less affected by the price increases than other confectionery.
Why Christmas sweets of all things could remain cheap is due to a special feature of the industry. Even large manufacturers such as Lambertz and the Milka group Mondelez produce the goods - unlike the year-round products - according to the needs of the supermarkets.
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That's why the dealers placed firm orders with the manufacturers months ago, i.e. before some of the big price jumps caused by rising raw material and energy costs. The products are therefore not affected by the gaps in the shelves that have arisen as a result of the current price wars between retail and industry, for example over Mars bars.
“With seasonal goods, you have different lead times compared to the standard portfolio. Discussions on this topic usually take place with our trading partners at an early stage," explains Martin Kaufmann, head of Germany at Milka manufacturer Mondelez. As a rule, there will no longer be any arguments about chocolate Santa Clauses or Christmas biscuits.
Retailers determine the final sales prices: A Rewe spokesman confirms “stable prices” for Christmas goods up to the festival. At Edeka, however, it is said that some manufacturers renegotiated this year – unlike usual.
There is also relief for typical Christmas presents - and this despite the historically high inflation rate of 10.4 percent recently. Fashion is particularly cheap this year.
During the pandemic, stocks have accumulated at stationary retailers. After the end of the easing, goods were also left behind at online retailers such as Zalando and About You, who had ordered too generously. In addition, many Germans save on clothing.
That's why the discounts and special offers in stores and online are particularly generous this year. This can already be seen in the official statistics: according to the Federal Statistical Office, men's jeans are on average 1.9 percent cheaper than in the previous year, men's suits and women's stockings are even around four percent cheaper.
Children's pants are also slightly cheaper - 0.7 percent. The downside of the development: The share prices of the German online retailers Zalando and About You have fallen significantly in the current year, Galeria is again in insolvency proceedings.
The statisticians are also registering further falling prices for consumer electronics – even if the rapid fall in prices in recent years has slowed down. TVs, for example, are 2.7 percent cheaper than last year – despite the lack of chips.
Here, technical progress and overcapacity in screen production in the Far East have been putting pressure on prices for years. In addition, this year there is also falling demand due to tighter household budgets.
However, the decline in prices in recent years is slowing down. Retailers such as MediaMarktSaturn have announced that they will offer new products such as smartphones at the first sale price for longer, i.e. they will only reduce them later. That should secure the margin. The same applies to game consoles, which are only 1.7 percent cheaper, as well as camcorders (minus 1.4 percent) and navigation devices (minus 2.9 percent).
Bigger and smaller takeaways like PC games are also significantly cheaper, down 11.5 percent given the streaming trend. Manageable price reductions are granted for music CDs including audio books - with a minus of 1.8 percent.
Parents should be pleased that the large product category of toys and hobbies has become three percent cheaper. In addition to the reluctance to buy, the increasing shift from stationary specialist shops to the price-transparent Internet is obviously having an effect here. Roller skates and ice skates have also become 1.9 percent cheaper.
Last but not least, a much-praised Christmas classic is cheaper: the price of almonds and coconut flakes, which had risen due to bad harvests, has now fallen by 1.4 percent - although probably not in the branded version at the Christmas market.
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