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If you went shopping during the public holiday on 8th December, when Malta celebrates the feast of Immaculate Conception, you may have thought that it was as busy as Black Friday and you wouldn’t have necessarily been wrong.

As the streets of shopping districts like Sliema bustled with people holding shopping bags, BusinessNow.mt got in touch with a number of retail outlets to better understand what the situation was like and whether there was actually a spike in activity.

The vast majority of outlets contacted did confirm that it was significantly busy during the public holiday, maybe not as busy as Black Friday for some, but it definitely was for others. This may indicate that a number of people did make use of the opportunity, and potential long-weekend to get their Christmas shopping in order.

Upon further inquiry there were a few outliers such, as Kiabi, where a spokesperson informed this newsroom that, they had more activity during the public holiday than they did during Black Friday. When asked what was drawing shoppers in when there weren’t any big sales deals going on, the spokesperson responded: “with Christmas closing in, a lot of people have been coming to buy gifts, sweaters and Christmas themed items.”

What may also have encouraged shoppers to head out was the uncharacteristically warm and sunny December weather during the holiday. Retailers also indicated that they were also finding Friday (today) to be fairly busy, supporting the theory that many shoppers did opt for a long-weekend and used the opportunity to get gifts ahead of time.

When speaking to The Malta Independent, Abigal Mamo, CEO of the Chamber of SMEs, said that consumer trends showed that people opted to buy essential items during Black Friday, expressing optimism that consumers will buy non-essential during the Christmas season.

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