Anyone who has a lot planned on St. Mary’s Day, just not a shopping spree, is obviously in the best of company. According to a survey by the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, 85 percent of Austrians do not want to go shopping on today’s public holiday. The author of the study, Christoph Teller, sees two main reasons for this: an uncrumbling front against open shops on public holidays (71 percent of 16 to 74-year-olds want the shops to remain closed), and the fact that many generally prefer to spend the public holiday with their families or spend on their hobbies.

Sounds like a new development, it’s not. In terms of customer frequency and sales, St. Mary’s Day has never been able to keep up with a shopping Saturday in Advent. And from the point of view of the dealers, the sales are bought dearly on top of that – with surcharges of 100 percent for the employees. Seen in this way, in many places it was not so much charity as the calculating pen that decided that the shop would remain closed on the holiday. This year it is particularly important to weigh up whether opening up the shops makes economic sense,” says Christoph Teller. “Because increased costs are meeting poor consumer sentiment this year.”

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