Christmas in Germany is coming early this year, in the form of jobs. Department stores require much more seasonal help around Christmas, and the result is a huge boost to the economy; In Germany, it means 2,500 Christmas markets generating 188,000 jobs, and revenue figures of around €3- €5 billion a year.
Many of the holiday season personnel decisions are generated via a combination of private investor decisions, industry associations and politicians. For many, Christmas time is a period of reflection on the past year, and a time to spend with family. For Hans-Beter Arens, who sells roasted ham, the holidays are all about making money: “I know that the church encourages reflection, but I can only be reflective when the cash register is ringing.” In his family, business done at Christmas time is responsible for half of all of his income.
As for another seasonal business, the sale of Glühwein, as it’s called in Germany, or mulled wine in English, is another huge Christmas enterprise. It’s estimated that the average Glühwein stand makes approximately €50,000 a single season. Now that’s impressive, considering the current value of the Euro. The demand could even be higher, if it weren’t for the fact that only one Glühwein stand is permitted per 5-10 different stands.
Despite the figures, most small-scale business owners, such as those that run Glühwein stands prefer not to disclose their figures. It’s all about supply-and-demand. If other companies believe that they can sell the Glühwein for a cheaper price and make more profit off of it, it would hurt their business. All in all, it’s an arrangement that works nicely for both the stand vendors and the manufacturers of the wine.