Wednesday 18 December 2019

Thousands of Christmas markets worldwide facing imminent closure

Magdeburg, Nuremberg, Dresden (dpo) - Is one of our most beloved Christmas traditions in danger of dying out? According to Postillon sources, several thousand Christmas markets all over the world are expected to cease trading on 24 December this year at the latest. Even Germany’s popular markets are no exception, with over 2,000 of them facing closure, including the famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt and Dresden’s Striezelmarkt.

This has been a shock to those working on the markets, who now face an uncertain future. They do not yet know whether they will be able to use a lifeboat company to avoid the worst.
Stallholder expected to be on the streets from next week
“Well, isn’t this a fine mess?” remarks Silke Sperber (44) in a sarcastic tone. She has been working at a Glühwein stall on the Christmas market in Magdeburg for several weeks and always thought her job was safe. “This horrible news had to come just before Christmas! I really don’t know what I am going to do.”
Tens of thousands of employees are affected in Germany alone, and hundreds of thousands worldwide. “I don’t understand,” despairs Stanislas Obraniak (62) who sells hot chestnuts on Cologne’s Christmas market. “The customers are still coming just like they always have. And now it’s all going to be over in a couple of days?”
Economists, though, are not so surprised. They have long been sceptical of the concept of the Christmas market. One of their main concerns is that Christmas markets have not adapted to online shopping habits. “Why have no Christmas markets managed to put together a decent web shop?” asks economist Dieter Rührmann. “They are missing out on millions in potential revenue.”
Economists estimate that the Christmas market sector will need at least ten months to recover enough for us to see the first few branches reopen.
swo, ssi, dan; picture above: LianeM / Shutterstock, picture on the right: Iakov Filimonov /; first published 2017-12-23
Read the German version HERE.
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