During the winter season Riga souvenir shops are not doing great – there are almost no tourists. Although sometimes residents of Latvia tend to shop in souvenir shops, most part of buyers is made of foreigners. According to souvenir shop assistants, Christmas time had been a kind of a rescue since there were a little bit more customers, and they were not saving much money while shopping. The start of January has been quite profitable as well, because Russians were looking for gifts for Orthodox Christmas.
Souvenir shops are now silent, but shop assistants point out that occasionally a group of tourists come in. In winter, the most common nationality of travelers is Russian, German and Scandinavian, least tourists are from Asia. What kind of souvenirs one buys is not dependent on nationality, but rather from the budget. Most of the tourists do not limit themselves because of the price, especially if it is the last day of the trip – then the money is not being saved and is rushed to spend it. A little wiser shop travelers, who have to bring back home souvenirs for several family members and friends – then they are looking for more, but smaller and less expensive things.
The range of souvenirs in the shops are not particularly changed depending on the season. Cups, plates, magnets, key chains, and other memorabilia - can always be found in souvenir shops, but when the winter comes, the stock is supplemented by knitted wool socks, hats, gloves and scarves. Tourists are particularly attracted by knitting, involving the use of Latvian ornaments and pattern – those are being bought the most.
Stores where amber goods are sold also are very popular among tourists. The most popular are amber bracelets, beads and earrings. Most products are made of amber and silver together, such as silver chain with amber pendant, but foreigners are more interested in "plain" amber. Amber shop assistants admit that although people from many different countries are keen on buying amber, Russian tourists, however, are most nimble. They buy the most and pay almost no attention to the price.