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2016 Chinese New Year Sales: Fuzhou and Xiamen

Spring Festival sales in Fuzhou and Xiamen remained at a very similar level to last year, with only a slight increase seen in certain individual shopping malls. Overall, jewellery once again proved the most in demand category at the majority of department stores across the Spring Festival and Valentine’s Day period.

Photo: Fuzhou: Invoking good luck for the New Year in traditional style. (Xinhua News Agency)
Fuzhou: Invoking good luck for the New Year in traditional style.
Photo: Fuzhou: Invoking good luck for the New Year in traditional style. (Xinhua News Agency)
Fuzhou: Invoking good luck for the New Year in traditional style.

Figures from the Ministry of Commerce show that, from New Year's Eve to the sixth day of the Chinese New Year (7-13 February 2016), the total takings of retail and catering enterprises nationwide was more than Rmb754 billion, up 11.2% over the Spring Festival golden week last year. While a number of new sectors achieved impressive results, traditional New Year’s goods; mass market dining; cultural, sporting and entertainment activities; tourism and leisure activities also fared well throughout the festive spending period.

Staff at the HKTDC's mainland offices (Beijing, Dalian, Qingdao, Xi’an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Shenzhen) made visits to a number of high-end, mid-high end and mid-range shopping centres in their respective cities before, during and after the Chinese New Year in order to ascertain just how the consumer market performed this year.

The following table illustrates consumer spending patterns in a number of different Fuzhou shopping locales throughout the CNY holiday:

StoreNew Hua Du Supercenter

Yonghui Superstores

Cangshan Wanda Plaza
Top-selling itemsClothing (for the middle-aged and elderly), gifts, home appliances, food, seafood, dry grocery, home and kitchen articlesMeat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, beverages, milk, liquors and tobaccos, gifts, teasJewellery, branded men’s and women’s wear, women skincare products, branded women’s spring collections, women’s autumn and winter footwear, perfume, Swarovski crystal ornaments, watches, sports equipment
New hot-selling categoriesFood, seafood, dry grocery, kitchen articlesVegetables, fruitsBranded women’s autumn and winter footwear
Average spend per customer (Rmb)2502501,000
Year-on-year turnover growth2.1%2.3%0.3%*
Promotional tacticsLucky draw chance upon each purchase of Rmb128 or more. Small-scale “neighbourhood supermarkets” were set up for residents’ shopping convenience while boosting sales1. Jubilant Spring Festival ambience created for stores
2. “Limited-time sales” and discount events
3. Business as usual on the first three days of the Spring Festival
Spring Festival staff sales; annual rebate schemes; up to 80% discount for winter collections; Rmb100 coupon for every purchase of Rmb500; less Rmb75 for every gram of gold purchased; up to 80% off for BeLLE lines; 40% off for Jessy line and Adidas; zero mark-ups; only Rmb369 for BeLLE ankle boots; Rmb440 for women’s overcoats; Rmb499 up for Jorya fur garments; store chief manager drew lucky numbers to give away cash prize of Rmb10,000.
Online vs physical storeVarious family-targeted sales promotions: WeChat Shake red packet giveaways, Alipay instant discounts or Bestpay for rebates. Sales of home products, festival gifts and traditional New Year’s goods increased significantly.Activities such as limited-time sales, promotional discounts, WeChat “snatch a red packet” and Alipay for instant discounts via online store and mobile WeChat store; also used online store to advertise special offers and new arrivals to attract customers.

1. WeChat red packet promotion

2. No online sales as yet; online advertising mainly for promoting sales activities at physical stores
Online SalesNoneNoneNone

*Note: The traditional shopping districts of Dongjiekou, Baolong City Square and MixC remained affected by an ongoing metro construction project. Though as a comprehensive shopping mall, Wanda Plaza has been well received by local customers, under prevailing economic conditions, revenues this year remained the same as last year.

The following table illustrates consumer spending patterns in a number of different Xiamen shopping locales throughout the CNY holiday:  

Shopping mallPCD StoresRainbow Department StoreJimei Wanda Plaza
Top-selling itemsJewellery, cosmetics, women’s spring and winter collections, lingerie, men’s winter collections, women’s autumn and winter footwear, sportswear, sports shoes, exercise equipment, outdoor sports itemsMen’s and women’s wear, luggage and bags, footwear for men and women, lingerie, accessories, perfumeCinemas, restaurants, jewellery, men’s and ladies’ wear, sportswear, women’s footwear, luggage and bags, watches, food
New hot-selling categoriesBranded women’s winter collectionsWomen’s footwearCinemas, restaurants
Average spend per customer (Rmb)1,000850978
Year-on-year sales growthRemained basically the same as last year; prevailing trends of overseas online shopping and overseas shopping agent were unfavourable to the sales of cosmetics, luggage and bags, clothing in traditional department stores; nevertheless, due to the fluctuations of the renminbi exchange rate and the nature of the products, jewellery remained the main draw for the Spring Festival and Valentine’s DayBasically the sameSales growths for cinemas, restaurants and jewellery were more remarkable, surpassing those of clothing and footwear; some categories of branded products even posted 1-5% decrease
Promotional tactics1.New arrival of spring collections and year-end sales for winter ones
2.Free gift of a fukubukuro (lucky packet of unknown assortment of giveaways) upon purchases of Rmb1,500 or more
3.Free pack of five-grain cereal upon purchases of Rmb3,000 or more
1.Chance of “Golden Egg Lucky Cracking” upon purchases of Rmb3,000 or more
2.Free gift of a fukubukuro upon purchases of Rmb8,000 or more
3.Up to 55% off for fashionable wear
Activities included snow-watching for Chinese New Year celebration; 50% off for lunch buffet during the Spring Festival; up to 70% off for clothing, 10 iPhone 6s and 30 Xiaomi handsets for lucky draws; entertainment shows including sky-high magic escape and container music festival
Online vs physical storeNoneWeChat store not only offers physical store specials and limited-time sales, but also overseas shopping for imported health food, mother-and-child products, as well as some luxury brand handbags and cosmetics; most of these products are delivered directly from overseas and are very popular among locals1.WeChat red packet promotion
2.No online sales available at the moment, online advertising aims at promoting sales in the physical stores
Online salesNoneSince some brands have not set up their own WeChat stores, comparisons could not be drawn.None

Cao Jing, Fuzhou Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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