In Linz there were an extremely large number of passers-by on Landstrasse – the shopping street in the city center. Some shops were bursting at the seams, so that getting through to the back of a bookseller seemed more or less impossible. Correspondingly long queues formed in front of the cash registers. Christmas decorations in particular were in demand, and in some cases clearing sales with a 50 percent discount on angels, Christmas tree balls and co.
In the Auhofcenter in the west of Vienna, when most of the shops opened at 9 a.m., it felt more going on than on other Saturdays at this time. At a shoe chain, for example, several parents tried on winter shoes with their children in order to be prepared in the event of the onset of winter during the lockdown. In other shops, too, targeted errands and early Christmas shopping were in the foreground. There was also a lot going on in the hairdressing salons and many people met at the bakery for breakfast. Some fashion chains advertised high discounts.
The cars were not only jammed in the Aufhofcenter, but also at the Stadlau business park and at the entrance to Austria’s largest shopping center, the Shopping City Süd in Vösendorf, traffic stalled at lunchtime. There was also a lot going on at the retail parks in Eisenstadt, but not a huge rush. In Klagenfurt, parking spaces in front of a large furniture store were already in short supply at around 11 a.m., and customer frequency was also high in the nearby toy store, as was the case with a sporting goods retailer. The same picture at an electronics store, there was almost as much going on as on a shopping Saturday in December.
In contrast to the shopping centers on the outskirts, the city center of Graz was relaxed. “I literally escaped into town by public transport after seeing the traffic at the parking lot of the shopping center in Liebenau. It’s so relaxed here, and I’ve already got quite a few gifts. You learn from lockdowns, ”said a lady on Jakominiplatz to the APA. The city department store Kastner & Öhler was well attended, but there was no sign of the crowd of gift buyers before the three weeks of forced closing time. In western Austria, the upcoming lockdown on Monday has also led to a high frequency of shopping centers. For example, Vorarlberg’s largest shopping center – the Messepark in Dornbirn – was well attended from the start, in Innsbruck’s DEZ the day started “with a good frequency” – a further increase was expected in the afternoon. “You can feel that there will be lockdown again from Monday,” said Messepark managing director Burkhard Dünser. Dünser spoke to the APA of a “very, very good visit, it’s a very strong day”. The parking spaces were 96 percent occupied by noon. Nonetheless, the manager assumed that there would be an even greater number of visitors in the afternoon. Saturday afternoon is usually the best time to shop.
On the other hand, there was no rush of customers at a hardware store in Vienna’s 17th district on Saturday afternoon. A security guard positioned at the entrance had nothing to do. “It’s a little busier than on a normal shopping Saturday,” said one saleswoman. (APA / red)