Freeman Cebu Business

Sales still not picking up for most gift items

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Retailers in Cebu observed lesser gift buying activities this year, as consumers are prioritizing purchases on essential goods.

Philippine Retailers Association (PRA-Cebu) past president Robert Go said one of the many changes seen in the buying behavior among consumers across social status, is gift buying, which should have started as early as September.

In the past, gift items for the upcoming Christmas holidays are one of the top sellers in department stores, boutiques and specialty stores. This time, retail operators noted a significant decline of these particular items, Go said.

What remains to be the priority targets of consumers are the essentials like groceries, medical and personal care goods, homewares, and the likes.

Although it is still a bit early to predict, Go said this year is the first time that sales of gift items remain unmoved or very slow, while we are only a month to go for Christmas season.

Aside from health and wellness products, fresh food, hot drinks, packages food, retail tissue, and home care products are the star performers in retail sector not just during pandemic season, also after the health crisis.

According to Euromonitor’s latest report, manufacturers and retailers of these products are expected to outperform their previous sales for years.

Euromonitor International senior research manager Camilla Butler said non- discretionary industries will weather 2020 better than the previous forecast, with coronavirus lockdown resulting in a surge in home eating, drinking, and cleaning, all boosting retail sales.

“However, in the longer term, value growth is not assured, and as recessionary effects impact, consumers will look to maximize value by shifting to private label, seeking out discounts, and deprioritizing premiumization, as well as looking for a new set of values in their products,” the report said.

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