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2017 Chinese New Year Sales: Chongqing

During the Spring Festival period, Chongqing’s primary commercial districts and key retailers jointly racked up sales of some RMB6.35 billion, up 12.9% year-on-year. The sales figures of six commercial districts in the central area of the city alone accounted for RMB3.25 billion, a rise of 13.1% year-on-year.

Photo: Chinese New Year decorations in Chongqing’s Drum Tower Square. (Xinhua News Agency)
Chinese New Year decorations in Chongqing’s Drum Tower Square.
Photo: Chinese New Year decorations in Chongqing’s Drum Tower Square. (Xinhua News Agency)
Chinese New Year decorations in Chongqing’s Drum Tower Square.

Overall, figures from the Ministry of Commerce showed that, from New Year's Eve to the sixth day of the Chinese New Year (27 January-2 February 2017), the total takings of retail and catering enterprises across the mainland exceeded RMB840 billion, up 11.4% over the same period last year. Traditional New Year goods, eco-friendly food, seasonal clothing, gold and silver ornaments, smart energy-saving home appliances and several new digital products were among the best-selling items for 2017.

As part of the survey, staff at the HKTDC's mainland offices - Beijing, Dalian, Qingdao, Xi’an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Shenzhen - selected a number of representative local shopping centres and monitored their performance before, during and after the Chinese New Year sales period in order to ascertain just how their respective local consumer markets fared this year.

The following is an overview of the Spring Festival spending patterns relating to a number of Chongqing’s leading shopping malls and entertainment service providers.

Throughout the course of the 2017 Spring Festival, consumer spending surged across Chongqing. Many of the city’s commercial districts, shopping centres, supermarkets and malls looked to capitalise on shoppers’ positive purchase sentiments through a variety of festive promotions, including a Spring Festival Fun Week and a New Year Shopping Festival.

With the rise in disposable income levels, consumer expectations have become increasingly diversified. In line with this, during the Spring Festival period, demand surged for a variety of items, including traditional Chinese New Year goods, gift items, clothing, bags, smart home appliances and digital communication devices. Typically, these items were sought out both for personal use and as gifts for others.

Spending patterns also tended to vary from store to store, depending on the target demographic of each. In the Chongqing Department Store, for instance, demand was particularly high for bedding and sportswear, with sales in the two categories recording a 10% year-on-year rise. In the case of the Chongqing General Trading Group (CGTG), while televisions, refrigerators and washing machines remained its bestselling lines, sales of small home appliances, including water and air purifiers, also surged by 15% year-on-year.

For Suning, a concerted campaign of online and offline promotions saw a number of domestically-manufactured items – including the latest products from Huawei, Vivo and OPPO ­– enjoy a 20% year-on-year increase in demand. In the more low-tech sector, several local supermarkets, including Yonghui, reported brisk sales of fresh food, vegetables and fruit, while there was a 12% rise in the sale of traditional Chinese New Year goods gift packs.

Frequently, tradition and purchase decisions became intertwined in line with a number of Spring Festival-themed promotions. At the Landmark Riverside Park, a cultural tourism complex that opened in September of last year, for instance, customers could redeem acquired bonus points for a chance to hang paper wish slips under the centre’s lanterns. Meanwhile, over at the Aegean Shopping Mall, customers could win red packets containing cash through a series of lucky draws, while the MIXC shopping complex staged several cultural heritage events.

Overall, spending on consumer services grew in line with outlay on cultural and entertainment experiences. While visiting heritage sites, attending lantern fairs and enjoying hot springs have long been a Spring Festival tradition for many Chongqing residents, such cultural emblems have now been successfully co-opted by several commercial organisations as part of their New Year promotions.

Overall, despite an increased number of consumer options – in terms of both retail sites and entertainment service providers - Spring Festival spending levels appear to have risen sufficiently to ensure the profitability of all of these new operators.

The following is a summary of the Spring Festival sales figures situation in three leading Chongqing outlets, together with on overview of their success in developing online channels:

Mall/Store

Xingguang 68 Square

Chongqing Guotai Plaza

Chongqing Department Store

Grade

High-end

Mid-range

Mid-low end

Bestselling items/services

Bags, clothing, catering, jewellery

Catering, experiential entertainment, bags

Clothing, food, shoes and bags, home textiles, cosmetics

Price range (RMB)

Bags 1,000-10,000

Clothing 2,000-20,000

Dining 100-2,000

Jewellery 2,000-60,000

Beauty and hair treatments 200-1,000

Catering 50-2,000

Experiential entertainment 50-6,000

Shoes and bags 300-3,000

Clothing 100-3,000

Dining 50-2,000

Clothing 100-3,000

Food 50-600

Shoes and bags 200-4,000

Cosmetics 100-2,000

Home textiles 100-8,000

Average spend per customer (RMB)

1,000

300

100

Promotional tactics

Membership bonus points; VIP offers, gift upon purchase of specified amount or above

Lucky draw entry to win cash vouchers for every single receipt of RMB50 or above; up to 50% discount offered at Korean shoe retailer Folder.

Brand discounts; extra bonus points for members; gifts for cumulative spending on bank cards of specified amount or above

Offline vs online sales

No online platform as Xingguang 68 primarily offers luxury goods, all of which have their own online presence. As a result, Xingguang 68 focuses on providing a high level of service to in-store customers.

The mall has a focus on experiential consumption, such as bookstores and cinemas, as a means of driving footfall; it also maintains a WeChat platform to handle customer enquiries; co-operates with renowned group-buy sites to offer coupons redeemable in the mall.

Chongqing Department Store’s online cross-border e-commerce platform, www.sjgo365.com, currently ranks number one for sales among e-commerce platforms of its type in Southwest China. The platform is also supported by experiential shops in a number of prefecture-level cities around Chongqing and has also linked up with more than 300 chain outlets in Chongqing’s core urban areas. Offline, all luxury items procured by the company’s overseas purchasing agents are sold at the store’s concession counters that also serve as auxiliary sales channels.

 

Chongqing Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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