Consecrated as a jolly old man who brings gifts to the little ones, Santa Claus is an inspiring symbol. It is a relationship capital that we invest in others by simply giving gifts. An economy of circumstance is born that has its own rules.
We give and receive on the basis of a reciprocal behavior that strengthens relationships with the others and stimulates consumption. Entire communities are simultaneously engaged in the social game of exchange of gifts, with symbolic charge and effect in the economy.
Bigger incomes, more gifts
In Romania, the Christmas holiday coincides with an increase in consumption at all levels, from food and home appliances to credits, holidays and increased sales of cars. Tens of millions of euros are set in motion on Santa’s behalf. During this period, the production of consumer goods is known to swing the engines of the trailer trucks that supply supermarkets and to provide work to a seasonal workforce.
With an increase in consumption of 7.7% this year, Romania is on a spending spree. Santa Claus animates even more the frenetic shopping, on the backdrop of the sound made by gifts getting unpacked and popping up champagne bottles. According to the Ferratum Group survey, in a top of winter holidays spending, this year Romania ranks second (after Mexico) in the 20 countries analyzed, according to the percentage of assigned revenues per household (31.9% ), which is of about 280 euros.
Gifts shopping, online or in stores
Only 25% of the Romanians who participated in this survey say they prefer online shopping, the difference being represented by those who browse brick & mortar gift shops. According to the same sources, the top 3 gifts for which the budget is allocated are the following: clothes (20.9%), sweets (19.4%) and toys (12.7%). The respondents to this study say that 28% of the holiday budget is allocated for travel, with 40% of Romanians preferring AirBnb.
Santa’s monetization in stores is part of the atmosphere in which manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, buyers, merchandisers and promoters are involved. Fairy arrangements that reconstruct the village of Santa Claus, are improvised in malls to receive shoppers and complement the landscape. Touchpoints are diversified across all consumer categories so that everyone can buy something.
Santa Claus, from symbol to mercantilism
A Santa Claus without entertainment, forgotten in a village in Finland, does not inspire. He becomes a good of the globalized world only if it is fun, if it stimulates consumption, if it sells. In this type of world, Santa Claus means going to the mall, having fun, running through the shelves after gifts.
Even though at the beginnings of the mankind the gift had multiple meanings, the economic one prevails at the moment. The consumption windmill reverses economic indicators and draws graphs of statistical welfare. The gift of economic growth on the basis of consumption cannot last forever. What if Santa comes and takes our gift back?