Germans snapped up smartphones, Christmas decorations, sweaters and other knitwear, jewellery and gift vouchers in a pick-up in shopping over the Black Friday weekend, retailers said.
HDE expects retail sales to total more than €120 billion ($125 billion) in November and December, down 4% in real terms from the year-earlier period.
'Uncertainty Of Consumers'
"The Christmas business is marked by the energy crisis. Retailers are feeling the uncertainty of consumers," Genth said, with inner-city retailers still feeling the impact of COVID-19.
Just over half of retailers said in a survey by HDE that they were dissatisfied with the development of sales in the week starting 21 November. About 30% of the 400 businesses that took part in the survey said they were satisfied with sales last week.
Only 20% said they were optimistic about sales between now and the end of the year.
“In our inner cities, customer frequency has collapsed with the pandemic. Visitor numbers have not recovered to this day. That makes things difficult for retailers in inner-city locations,” Genth added.