Shanghai shopping festival helps revive retail spending

Ding Yining
May sales got a major lift from recent promotional events, and have returned to levels comparable to last year. Online shopping was a major bright spot.
Ding Yining

Shanghai has reported fruitful results over the past month after a series of promotional activities lifted consumer sentiment and encouraged spending as part of a local shopping festival.

In May, offline retail sales in the city reached 144.3 billion yuan (US$20.3 billion), which was close to the same level last year.

The city's online retail sales climbed to nearly 100 billion yuan, with sales of commodities picking up 13 percent.

The city's postal bureau reported a 17.9 percent increase in the number of courier parcels shipment.

The shopping festival saw citywide consumer payments total 15.68 billion yuan in the first 24 hours, helping retailers revive falling sales after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sales of Shanghai merchants on e-commerce platform Pinduoduo more than doubled following promotional events to help boost local economy.

Major department stores and outlets such as Shanghai Village in the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, Shanghai New World Daimaru Department Store and Shanghai First Yaohan Department Store reported monthly sales rebounds of 66.9 percent, 45 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Sales of cosmetics, food and beverages, clothing and apparel also advanced by 15 percent, 12.7 percent, 10.7 percent, respectively.

“A number of supportive measures have been put forward by urban management authorities and the enhanced business environment has prompted local and overseas retailers to step up investment here," said Shanghai Commission of Commerce Director Hua Yuan.

Shanghai is widely considered a shopping paradise and a top-notch destination for purchases.

The city is encouraging the latest technology and novel ideas to take root and bear fruit in the form of upgraded consumption.

Altogether 33 debut stores were launched in the city over the past month.

Dining demand also posted strong revival, with a 26.6 percent increase from April.

The Shanghai Snack Festival, covering 40 local dining brands and 4,700 outlets, saw average sales increase by 15 percent.

Major business districts of Nanjing Road, Wujiaochang, Lujiazui area and Hongqiao Commercial Zone also reported strong foot traffic increases and sales totals.

Shanghai's time-honored brands and high-tech companies achieved sales increases thanks to a number of innovative promotional formats such as livestreaming shows and street bazaars.  

Bailian Group President Xu Ziying said sales in Shanghai have been doubling and even tripling figures of retailers from out of town. 

"We will continue to leverage Shanghai's strong commercial capabilities and upbeat sentiment and we will also combine our expertise and latest retail outlets to explore digital transformation," She added.

JD Vice Chairman Han Rui said last month its sales event attracted around 100 local time-honored brands, and their daily average sales surged nearly 200 percent over the period from a month ago. 

Shanghai's home-grown beauty and skincare products also reported an over 400 percent increase in sales after consumers embraced locally made new offerings. 

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