Subdued enthusiasm for shopping as sales begin across Italy

Subdued enthusiasm for shopping as sales begin across Italy
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
One in two Italians are expected to take advantage of the winter sales, but plan to spend less money than last year, according to Italian consumer groups.

Sales get underway in the southern region of Basilicata on Tuesday, followed by Val D’Aosta on Wednesday and all other regions from January 5th with the exception of Sicily, where stores will start offering discounts from January 6th.

Some 40 percent of shoppers are forecast to participate in the sales, with each person spending an average €150. But according to the consumer group Codacons, this is a “flop” in comparison with previous years as people continue to watch their spending amid a sluggish economy. The average spend is seven percent less than last year.

Those who do take advantage will enjoy discounts of up to 50 percent.

“It’s an opportunity for consumers to save money, but also for businesses hoping for a turnaround in the umpteenth sluggish year,” said Roberto Manzoni, the president of Fismo Confesercenti.

“Even Christmas sales, although positive, were below expectations.”

Manzoni added that another 2,400 clothes shops closed during 2017 as a result of weak spending.