Supermarkets experienced increased activity during the final days of Holy Week in Cyprus, with consumers mainly focusing on buying food and Easter table essentials, according to the head of the small shopkeepers’ association (Povek) Stefanos Koursaris, who added, however, that shopping for clothing and footwear remained limited.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Tuesday, Koursaris explained that economic constraints led consumers to prioritise essential items over what he called “small luxuries”.

“Consequently, supermarket activity remained at similar levels compared to last year’s Easter period,” he said.

Koursaris’ statements were echoed by Povek’s general secretary Andreas Hadjiadamos, who also said he expected increased activity in supermarkets “despite the current economic challenging times.”

Hadjiadamos, however, attributed the consumers’ behaviour to the many items on offer across supermarkets in Cyprus during the Easter period.

“Supermarkets constantly analyse consumer response patterns to adjust prices in a manner that facilitates access to essential goods,” he said. “Therefore, there was satisfactory activity across supermarkets of all sizes.”

He further highlighted a trend of stable consumer response during festive periods in recent years, contrasting with previous declining trends, which he attributed to “wrong strategies implemented by supermarkets.”

“Consumers now tend to explore the market and take advantage of each supermarket’s offers to procure quantities and items that suit them best.

“Every year, there is a change in consumer behaviour and supermarkets ensure they adapt to these changes on order to meet consumer demands,” he said.

Regarding the period after the holidays, he predicted that limited activity is expected, “which will again prompt supermarkets to come up with other strategies and promote other goods.”

However, although there was increased consumer activity in supermarkets, retail trade experienced a downward trend, according to Koursaris.

“In past years, it was customary for people to purchase clothing, footwear, and gifts during Easter. This was not the case this year,” he said, adding that allowances provided to vulnerable groups were also channelled towards the purchase of essential items.