Swiss Christmas decorations store booms as shoppers flock back

BASEL, Switzerland, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Christmas can never come too soon for Johann Wanner, the world's biggest purveyor of hand-made festive decorations whose shop in the Swiss city of Basel attracts shoppers from around the world.

"I think the business is quite good now. After these years of closing down (for the pandemic) people are ready to come out and invest in Christmas ornaments," the 83-year-old said.

"It is something which it not necessary but it is something very important. I think people need it. I need it, too. And I need my customers and they do come and help me, 54 years running," Wanner said this week.

Props for Christmas decoration are seen in the shop Weihnachtshaus (Christmas House) of Johann Wanner, the world's biggest handmade Christmas ornaments producer, in Basel, Switzerland, December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The shop that delivers to big companies in New York, London, Paris, Rome, China and Japan had around 300 customers buy something last Saturday alone, he added.

The business, which employs a dozen staff in Basel, arose from an antique shop in its Old Town. Christmas fans find unusual designs, traditional jewellery from European glassblowers, and Swiss souvenirs.

Sandra Takai, a tourist from Philadelphia shopping at the store, said she was going to spend a little more on Christmas this year.

"Life is short and I just want the happiness, not big things but mostly for my family, mostly for the grandchildren. I just want that happiness so they will remember," she said.

Reporting by Cecile Mantovani, writing by Michael Shields, editing by Alexander Smith

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