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2017 Chinese New Year Sales: Wuhan

Compared to the 2016 Spring Festival, spending at many of Wuhan’s shopping centres was markedly up this year. Most notably, luxury goods purchases were up by 30%, while physical stores outperformed many of their online counterparts.

Photo: Qu Yuan Temple Square lit up for the Lantern Festival. (Xinhua News Agency)
Qu Yuan Temple Square lit up for the Lantern Festival.
Photo: Qu Yuan Temple Square lit up for the Lantern Festival. (Xinhua News Agency)
Qu Yuan Temple Square lit up for the Lantern Festival.

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.

In Wuhan, Spring Festival consumption showed the following characteristics:

Shopping Centre

Wuhan International Plaza

Wushang Zhongyuan Mall

Center Department Store (Wuhan Zhongxin Baihuo)

Grade

High-end

Mid-range

Mid-to-low-end

Top-selling items (top 10)

Watches, food and beverages, movies, skating rinks, men’s wear, women’s wear, men’s shoes, women’s shoes, jewellery, toys.

Gold, fashion and leisure, women’s wear, men’s fashion wear, cosmetics, underwear, infant and children’s products, movies, skating rinks, shoes.

Gold, international clothing and accessories, fashion and leisure, young ladies’ clothing, men’s fashion wear, shoes, mature ladies’ clothing, cosmetics, underwear.

New hot-selling items

Digital products and ceramics.

Pets (chinchillas, rabbits and hamsters) and pet supplies.

 

Price range (RMB)

Watches (3,000 up), food and beverages (300-2,000), movies (30-120), skating rinks (60 up), men’s wear (800 up), women’s wear (500 up), men’s shoes (300 up), women’s shoes (200 up), jewellery (500 up), toys (200 up), digital products (500-30,000), ceramics (2,000-10,000)

Gold (1,000 up), fashion and leisure (300 up), women’s wear (300 up), men’s fashion wear (300 up), cosmetics (100 up), underwear (300 up), infant and children’s products (200 up), movies (25-80), skating rinks (60 up), shoes (300 up), pets and pet supplies (300 up)

Gold (1,000 up), international clothing and accessories (300 up), fashion and leisure (300 up), young ladies’ clothing (300 up), men’s fashion wear (300 up), shoes (300 up), mature ladies’ clothing (300 up), cosmetics (100 up), underwear (300 up)

Average spend per customer (RMB)

1,000-3,000

800-1,500

500-1,000

Comparison with last year

Up

Up

Up

Promotional tactics and brand success highlights

Offers of gifts with purchase and “lucky red packets” to customers.

Worked in co-operation with Harbin’s Lesong Plaza to offer the Songsong Xiaozhen (or Songsong Town) recreation project for children. Also brought in Hong Kong’s pet supplies brand Tuzi Baihuo (or “Rabbit Mall”) for the sale of pets, such as chinchillas, rabbits and hamsters as well as pet supplies. The company also offered a professional pet grooming service and a good after-sale service for pets and established a leading edge in product design and production certification. It recorded a turnover of about RMB300,000 and attracted many families to visit in its first month of business. The theme of “spending on children” greatly boosted overall spending at the mall.

Offer of gift with purchase of designated amount or above.

Reasons for recent changes in sales

Overall spending was higher during the Chinese New Year holidays compared with the corresponding period last year. Sales of luxury goods increased by 30%, with sales of jewellery and high-end watches soaring by nearly 300%. Customers were more inclined to spend on entertainment and food.

Spending peaked during the week before CNY and sales dropped between New Year’s Eve and Day 7 from the preceding week. However, total sales of the two weeks still showed an increase compared with the same period last year.

Pedestrian traffic on Jianghan Road increased with the re-opening of Zhongshan Road, bringing the store more customers and a higher turnover. Impulse spending increased while planned/budgetted spending dropped during the CNY holidays.

Other notable developments

Consumers were more inclined to choose luxury goods with an investment value in view of the uncertainty of the local property market. As more upmarket catering and entertainment brands had moved into the plaza, consumers tended to patronise more upmarket restaurants during the holiday period.

Consumers were more inclined to choose luxury goods with an investment value in view of the uncertainty of the local property market. As more upmarket catering and entertainment brands had moved into the plaza, consumers tended to patronise more upmarket restaurants during the holiday period.

With the exception of big-ticket items, such as gold and jewellery, spending was stable with relatively small average transaction values. There were more occasional customers and fewer regular patrons during the CNY holidays, something that is typical of pedestrian shopping streets. Shoppers paid greater attention to brands, promotional activities, and innovative sales promotions easily attracted their participation.

Online selling

The variety of goods sold online was relatively few and the brands available were largely the same as those sold in the physical stores in the plaza, which may explain why more consumers preferred shopping in physical stores.

Since more brands joined the plaza’s online mall in 2016, online sales have increased compared with last year’s figures, though they still lagged considerably behind sales in physical stores.

Not available.

Not available.

 

Wuhan Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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