Holiday demand mixed

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    Retailers and consumers see the price freeze in Luzon and the return to 2019 levels of the prices of Christmas food products to have mixed impact on holiday shopping demand.

    Steven Cua, president of the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association said consumers are likely to do last-minute shopping as they wait for the release of their 13th month pay.

    Cua also sees consumers to spend less and this time on more affordable products to stretch their budgets.

    The Luzon-wide 60-day price freeze around the holidays, while a relief to consumers, will impact manufacturers and retailers which expect to recover from slack in demand the past eight months.

    Cua said some manufacturers and retailers derive a third of their sales during Christmas.

    The freeze on the prices of Noche Buena products will also be detrimental to fast-moving popular brands covered by the latest suggested retail prices according to Cua.

    He said some supermarkets have been pulling out of their shelves some brands where they will realize very thin margins.

    Vic Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsyumer Inc., is optimistic demand will pick up although not as strong as in previous years.

    “People will still spend. Christmas is one occasion where traditionally Filipinos spend more,” Dimagiba said.

    Following Proclamation No.1051 declaring a state of calamity in the entire Luzon Island Group, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) advised business establishments to comply with the price freeze on basic necessities.