According to figures released this week by Statistics Netherlands, the feast of St Nicholas -celebrated with gifts on 5 December- Christmas and New Year’s Eve generate an estimated 1.3 billion euros extra for the Dutch retail trade. Toy shops, in particular, experience a boost in sales in the last two months of the year. But stores selling alcoholic drinks and household items also see a marked increase in turnover in November and December.
Households spend an average 170 euros extra
Dutch retailers realise a total turnover of 21 billion euros in November and December, 1.3 billion euros of which can be attributed to the festive season. This is the equivalent of every household spending around 170 euros extra in the shops. The extra turnover in the festive season is mainly accounted for by gifts bought for the feast of St Nicholas (5 December) and Christmas, luxury food items and drinks for Christmas dinner, and snacks, champagne and fireworks for New Year’s Eve.
Turnover in festive season 2005/2013
Top sales period for toy shops
Not all retail sectors benefit equally from the extra spending in November and December. While toy shops experience their busiest period, it is a lot quieter in do-it-yourself stores. Toy shops earn nearly 30 percent of annual turnover in the last two months of the year. Gifts bought for the December festivities account for just over 140 million euros. November is the best month for St Nicholas gifts.
Some 110 euros per child is spent on gifts from toy shops in the last two months of the year.
Consumer electronics popular gifts
Shops selling consumer electronics also benefit from the festivities. Small electrical household appliances, smartphones and computers are also popular gifts. The Dutch spend around 930 million euros in shops specialising in consumer electronics in November and December, of which 175 million euros is directly connected with the festive season.
December best months for food and drink retailers
Shops selling alcoholic drinks also do well out of the festive season. An estimated one third of turnover in November and December is connected with the December festivities. Annual turnover in this sector is around 1.5 billion euros, of which 340 million euros is realised in the last two months of the year. Extra turnover as a result of the festivities is approximately 100 million euros. December, in particular, is an important month, accounting for around 15 percent of annual turnover.
Supermarkets also earn their highest turnover in December: about 10 percent of the year’s total takings. Out of an annual turnover of over 37.5 billion euros, the extra turnover in November and December is around 420 million euros.
Average monthly turnover