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Christmas shopping in full swing

Swiss shoppers still prefer buying their purchases over the counter

(Keystone)

With Christmas approaching, shopkeepers are in good spirits. They're reporting a brisk start to the festive season, with sales well up on last year.

As in previous years, electronic goods are leading Christmas sales. But this year, quality is playing a bigger role in the choices made by shoppers, the main stores agree.

Ernst Pfenniger, a spokesman for the Globus group, said sales over the first weekend of Advent were cause for celebration. Although they still hadn't reached their peak, they were markedly higher than last year, he said.

Toy shops reported a roaring trade in computer games, with Playstation 2 and Pokemon, in greatest demand. Robot dogs and the Harry Potter books were also selling like hot cakes, they said.

Despite the growing appeal of electronic goods, more traditional items, such as jewellery, perfumes and fashion accessories were still selling well, spokesman for the Manor chain, Jean-Claude Ardenti said.

On the other hand, many stores reported disappointing sales of winter clothing and ski equipment. They attributed this to the mild weather conditions so far this winter.

Most Christmas gifts are still being bought over the counter, shops reported, despite the arrival of Internet shopping. The toy store, Toys "R" Us, said its goods wouldn't be available over the Net until next year, while the Bern-based department store, Loeb, reported higher telephone than Internet sales.

swissinfo with agencies

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