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2013 Chinese New Year sales: Guangzhou

 Photo: Spring Festival flower market in Guangzhou. (Courtesy of Xinhua News Agency)
 Spring Festival flower market in Guangzhou. (Photo courtesy of Xinhua News Agency)
HKTDC's 11 mainland offices, namely in Beijing, Dalian, Qingdao, Xian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Shenzhen, conducted market surveys on high-end, mid-high end and mid-range shopping centres in their cities a week after the Chinese New Year to find out about their festival sales.

The following describes the sales performance of department stores in Guangzhou during the Spring Festival week.

Nine stores post Rmb540 million in sales

During the week-long Spring Festival holiday, total sales of the nine leading department stores in Guangzhou, namely Grandbuy, Xindaxin, Friendship Store, Teemall, Mopark, Simgo, Dongshan, Zhonghua and Wangfujing reached Rmb540 million, down slightly by 3% over the same period last year. Of this amount, the sales of Friendship Store during the Spring Festival exceeded Rmb100 million, on par with that of last year; sales at Teemall during the same seven-day period was around Rmb80 million, largely the same as that of last year; sales at Dongshan reached Rmb28 million, basically in line with last year’s performance; sales at Wangfujing exceeded Rmb20 million, similar to last year’s level.

Warm weather dampens garment sales

Due to the direct competition from online retailers and the warm weather during the Spring Festival this year, there was a marked slowdown in the sales of clothing, one of the major product categories offered by department stores. In addition, the use of public funds by government officials for three main types of private consumption has been suppressed under stricter surveillance. As a result, consumers in general are more discreet with their spending.

Besides,  according to specialists with the Guangzhou General Chamber of Commerce (GGCC), as the western Valentine's Day fell within the long Spring Festival holiday this year, many Guangzhou residents were out of town for travelling or visiting relatives in their hometowns. Therefore, department store operators missed that golden opportunity to boost sales. On the other hand, promotional efforts related to the Lantern Festival, the traditional Chinese “Lover’s Day” by department stores in Guangzhou had also weakened, unlike last year when promotional activities were far more vigorous. 

While sales at Grandbuy (including Grandbuy, Xindaxin and Grand Buy Fashion) during the seven-day holiday increased 3-8% year-on-year, the establishment of new stores by Grandbuy last year has helped boost the total sales of the group. During the Valentine’s Day, sales of traditional gifts like gold jewellery, perfumes and chocolates were satisfactory. Trendy gifts, such as 3G products like Note II, iPad mini and iPhone were popular with young people; Apple-related accessories were hot items. On the other hand, sales of gold jewellery were eye-catching, rising by 10-20% year-on-year. Gold set rings, Chinese zodiac-inspired jewellery items were keenly sought after.

At the Friendship Store, sales of festival-related items like jewellery, cosmetics, Swarovski crystal accessories and personalised set rings grew 20% year-on-year. Besides, as the fifth day of the lunar new year coincided with the western Valentine’s Day, sales of related items like chocolates in gift boxes and jewellery gained on the back of festive celebrations and gift-giving.

Sales at Mopark Department Store during the Chinese New Year were also outstanding, posting an increase of 6.14%. In particular, sales of gold jewellery doubled year-on-year.

Sales performance during the golden week of the Spring Festival is regarded as a barometer of economic trends in the coming year.  Judging from the current condition, department store operators must adapt to new consumption trends in a timely manner. To this end, a number of department stores in Guangzhou have taken actions to bolster the sales of gold jewellery. 

HKTDC Guangzhou Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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