The continuing high temperatures this summer have actually been a boon for larger retailers in Estonia even if streets in the major cities seem to be devoid of people. The simple reason for this is the cooler temperatures inside shops and shopping centres is driving people indoors, according to industry spokespersons.
''We can say without hesitation that customers like to shop with us even in the hot weather,'' said Tartu Kvartal Centre marketing and communications specialist Teele Tamme.
The Kvartal Centre is one of several shopping and leisure centres in central Tartu.
''The total number of visitors to the Centre in May and June increased year-on-year by 140,000,'' she continued.
''You can spot the people who've just come in to get out of the heat and breathe in a bit of cooler air,'' said Jaan Lott, manager of the Lõunakeskus shopping centre, also in Tartu.
''And people can't seem to get enough of it – even one or two hour visits don't seem to be long enough to completely recover from the heat,'' he added.
''That said, summer has always been a good time for us" said Lott. "Whereas during the rest of the year, sales clearly pick up at the weekends as against weekdays, during summer every day sees an equally high level of turnover,'' he said.
Retail chiefs in Tallinn paint a similar picture.
''The summer weather doesn't seem to have driven pepole from the city to the beaches so much as to the shopping centres, where there is both air conditioning and summer offers,'' said Marketing manager of the Ülemiste shopping centre in Tallinn, Kristina Antšak, although admittedly without actual statistical data to back up the assertion.
Linda Eichler, communications and marketing manager for two of the largest shopping centres in Tallinn, Rocca al Mare and the Kristiine Centre, sales of summer-related goods have, perhaps unsurprisingly, been strong, but for inexpensive items and those involving a more costly outlay alike.
"Popular purhcases at both the Rocca al Mare and Kristiine Centres have included fans, air conditioning units, fridges, sunglasses, swimwear, T-shirts, dresses, shorts and summer shoes," said Eichler.
Editor: Andrew Whyte