At least 80 per cent of traditional Christmas markets in Germany have been cancelled over the COVID-19 pandemic, the German Retail Federation (HDE) said on Monday.
The federation cited a study by consulting company CIMA and the Association of City Marketing and Town Centre Management Germany, which polled 1,400 municipal officials, representatives of local civic organisations and retailers.
The cancellation is said to negatively impact trade during Christmas as well as retail in city centres where markets are usually organised.
According to the HDE, only seven per cent of scheduled markets will take place, the fate of another 13 per cent remains undecided.
As a result, almost two-thirds of respondents expect decreased volumes in Christmas retail.
“Christmas markets are an important factor that brings clients to pedestrian zones and city centres.
“And when this stimulus is lost almost everywhere this means another heavy blow to already worn-out retail in city centres,” HDE Secretary-General, Stefan Genth, said in a statement.
Starting Nov. 2, Germany has been living under a so-called soft lockdown, which limits the work of the catering industry and cancellation of entertainment events.
The measures are in effect until the end of the month but could be extended by the authorities.
Germany usually holds Christmas markets from late October to early January.
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