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2017 Chinese New Year Sales: Hangzhou

Between 26 January and 1 February this year, the combined turnover of 50 of Hangzhou’s leading retail businesses, including department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, home appliance stores, tea houses and specialty streets, exceeded RMB597 million, up 10.2% year-on-year.

Photo: Intime’s Wulin store: A popular New Year shopping destination. (Xinhua News Agency)
Intime’s Wulin store: A popular New Year shopping destination.
Photo: Intime’s Wulin store: A popular New Year shopping destination. (Xinhua News Agency)
Intime’s Wulin store: A popular New Year shopping destination.

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 in a number of the shopping malls around Hangzhou:

According to the Spring Festival 2017 sales figures recently released by the Hangzhou Municipal Commission of Commerce (Municipal Grain Board), between 26 January and 1 February, the combined turnover of some 50 Hangzhou businesses - including department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, home appliance stores, tea houses and “specialty streets” - was more than RMB597 million, a 10.2% increase on the comparable figures for 2016. The increase was 13.4% higher than the -3.2% change in sales figures recorded between the 2015 and 2016 Spring Festival periods. Overall, then, the 2017 figures showed the highest level of growth in the Spring Festival consumer market since 2012.

This year also saw a marked increase in Hangzhou’s popularity as a Spring Festival tourist destination. Throughout the course of the seven-day holiday period, some 4.5 million domestic and foreign tourists visited the city, an increase of 13.6% over last year. In total, there were 10.75 million tourist visits to the city’s parks, scenic areas and the surrounding countryside, resulting in tourist receipts of RMB5.52 billion, up 17.3% year-on-year. While attending temple fairs, visiting mountain retreats to pray for good fortune and observing a variety of New Year customs and traditions have long been the preferred Spring Festival pastimes of Hangzhou residents, this year many also opted to take in the tourist attractions visited by delegates to the G20 Summit back in the September of last year.

This year, the favourite activities of locals and tourists alike proved to be strolling around the West Lake, watching the 3D light show, visiting Wulin Square’s musical fountain and shopping in one of the city’s many malls. As a result, the shopping malls in the Wulin commercial district, including the Hangzhou Tower and the Intime Department Store, recorded a 10% surge in sales across the Spring Festival period. Similarly, visitor numbers and sales also showed a year-on-year increase - 13.2% and 9.75% respectively - at the Hubin (Lakeside) specialty street.

It wasn’t, however, only the well-established retail areas that pulled-in would-be purchasers. Over in the Kerry Centre, one of Hangzhou’s newest shopping malls, the best-selling items over the holiday period were daily use items, sportswear, toys, books and educational products, with the average spend per customer around RMB500. The Centre’s seasonal promotional offers were headed by the promise of a free gift for every purchase of RMB500 or more. As yet, the Centre has not ventured into the online shopping sector.

Enjoying something of a sales peak over the holiday period was Intime’s Wulin store, with gold jewellery, watches, cosmetics and digital products - mainly mobile phones –among its bestselling items. Overall, the average spend per customer was RMB816, an increase of 9.6% over last year.

The main promotional activities organised by the store included an Intime Parade and the launch of the Intime Love Square. In the watches sector, Omega proved the store’s best-selling brand, with sales staff reporting that many customers bought Omega watches as New Year gifts or Valentine’s Day presents for family members and loved ones. A matching pair of Omega timepieces, introduced specifically in time for Valentine’s Day, were said to have sold particularly well. In terms of online shopping, sales in three particular sectors were said to have demonstrated substantial growth compared to 2016 - food items, fruits and liquors.

The New Year period also resulted in impressive sales over at the Hangzhou Tower, where the takings for clothing, brand name watches, jewellery and cosmetics totalled RMB65.5 million. This year, the average spend per customer was RMB3,000, up 10.6% when compared to last year. As yet, online shopping services are not available at the mall.

This year, with “good family fortunes” as its Chinese New Year theme, the overall ambience at the Hangzhou Tower was said to have proved highly conducive to consumer spending, while adding to the mall’s reputation as a premium shopping destination.

Hangzhou Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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