GRTU has conducted again its first of its two yearly surveys among the trade fair exhibitors, which are mainly represented by the organisation. The survey focused on the first week of Trade Fair operations. Businesses were asked to comment on their overall performance, opinions and expectations.

62% of those interviewed reported a decrease in sales turnover compared to last year. Of these, 53% claimed that they had a drop of over 20% in their sales. 22% had sales improvement while only 16% estimated similar performance compared to last year.

26% managed to achieve the turnover they expected. Meanwhile, only 23% registered better results than expected for the first week. In fact, those who noted that visits to their stands increased compared to last year amounted to 15% only. However, 67% of those interviewed expect better sales during the second week.

Exhibitors were asked to express their opinions on what factors are influencing consumers this year. Prices and the wider choice of products attributed to competition top the list with 34% and 29% respectively. The majority of businesses (61%) introduced special schemes with their offers.

Of particular interest, 56% think that EU membership has not affected the overall performance of their business so far while those who think it affected them negatively or positively are equally divided.

A number of exhibitors commented on the general outcome. The majority said that the EURO 2004 football games had an effect on Trade Fair turnout. Most exhibitors believe that increased competition, economic uncertainty and less money in hand are the factors that led to the decrease in sales.

The full results are also available by e-mail. A soft copy may be available from the GRTU Office, Republic Street,Valletta.

The second GRTU Trade Fair Survey will be held at the end of the Trade Fair.


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