Surge in spending over Labor Day holiday

Ding Yining
Shanghai residents' spending on Taobao and Tmall on Tuesday was 1.7 times that of a year ago as shoppers used digital coupons and discounts after the city's shopping season began.
Ding Yining
Surge in spending over Labor Day holiday
Ti Gong

Shanghai's shopping season started officially on Monday. 

Surge in spending over Labor Day holiday
Ding Yining / SHINE

China UnionPay said total transactions in the country over the holiday reached 1.57 trillion yuan.

Online spending surged during the Labor Day holiday while the nighttime economy also picked up as leisure expenditure rebounded.

China UnionPay said total transactions in the country over the holiday reached 1.57 trillion yuan, up 7.7 percent compared with the Qingming Festival break in early April and 16 percent higher than average weekend spending in April.

Shanghai marketing consultant Sherry He said she bought clothes and a cooking stove online.

"It's a good opportunity to make use the discounts for family purchases during the Labor Day break and I plan to return to the department store next week to check out more deals," she said.

Local retail conglomerate Bailian Group said sales between April 26 and May 3 had reached 1.92 billion yuan (US$270 million), with 290 million yuan of that from digital shops.

Bailian's River Mall in the Pudong New Area and popular shopping malls and business districts such as the Longement Zhongshan Park Shopping Mall and Metro City Plaza in Xuhui District were among the top areas for the fastest growth in spending after 8pm, according to data from Alibaba’s lifestyle services unit.

Average spending on Alipay in the evening rose 40 percent during the holiday compared to late last month. The number of orders after 8pm were up 30 percent.

Meituan Dianping said spending at food and snacks vendors between 9pm and 2am during the first three days of May were up by more than 440 percent compared to a month ago. 

Up to 91 percent of lifestyle services merchants on Meituan Dianping had returned to business as of Monday, with beauty and skincare salons and gyms seeing the biggest rebound in spending. 

Sales at Alibaba's Freshippo stores in Shanghai were at record levels on Tuesday. 

More than 50 Freshippo outlets in the city usually have combined average daily sales of 50 million yuan.

Tmall said Shanghai merchants' sales on May 5 more than doubled from the same period a year ago and the number of Taobao livestreaming hosts and viewers also doubled from Friday to Monday.

Tmall Global reported nationwide sales growth of 72 percent over the holiday, and the launch of the shopping season pushed import sales to jump 239 percent the following day. 

Sunscreen, beauty gadgets, home electronic devices and nutritional supplements were the top selling items.

JD's overall sales during the holiday were up 45 percent with the top selling categories including home appliances, sportswear, fresh food and agricultural products.

JD-backed delivery platform Dada Group said a recent livestream tie-up with Shanghai's TV shopping program Oriental CJ attracted more than 350,000 viewers. Nearly 90 percent of viewers placed orders through its digital store.

WeChat's total offline payment volume from Friday to Tuesday picked up 30 percent from a month ago with the fastest growing segments including entertainment, dining and retail.

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