Shanghai shopping festival ends in success

Huang Yixuan
Two-month event has restarted a virtuous circle of production, circulation and consumption, and greatly promoted recovery in consumption and the release of potential.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai’s first Double Five Shopping Festival has led to sharp year-on-year increases in both online and offline retail sales.

During May and June, over 520,000 online merchants and over 100,000 offline businesses took part, holding more than 170 key events and over 1,000 featured activities, according to the city’s Commission of Commerce.

It has effectively attracted consumers, restarted a virtuous circle of production, circulation and consumption, and has greatly promoted recovery in consumption and the release of potential, said Hua Yuan, the commission’s director.

During the festival, 200 large commercial enterprises in the city realized overall sales of 68.4 billion yuan (US$9.74 billion), an increase of 4.5 percent year on year and up 33.5 percent month on month.

Retail sales of consumer goods rose 0.6 percent in May from a year earlier, 3.4 percentage points faster than the national average, according to the city’s statistics bureau.

With big discounts and promotion activities, big data monitoring at the payment end showed that the city's offline consumption of physical goods reached 284.6 billion yuan over the two months, an increase of 11.6 percent from the March-April period, and has recovered to the same level as a year earlier.

Retail sales of key monitoring enterprises increased 33.9 percent compared with the previous two months, among which Shanghai New World Daimaru and Shanghai No.1 Yaohan, two popular shopping malls, posted sales up 2.1 times and 1.4 times, respectively.

Meanwhile, online retail saw an explosion during the festival. According to the city’s postal administration, the number of express items in Shanghai added up to 500 million, up 20.6 percent year on year, while third-party big data showed that the city's online retail sales reached 255.1 billion yuan in total, jumping 23.5 percent from a year earlier.

The city saw rapid recovery in key sectors. Sales of automobiles increased significantly, 116,000 new vehicles sold during the period, up 9.9 percent year on year. Food and beverage consumption recovered, with sales on the Ele.me platform and Koubei app, respectively, both jumping more than 15 percent from a year earlier. High-end consumption also rebounded strongly, with 27 high-end brands seeing sales grow at least 50 percent faster than in the same period last year.

Hua also highlighted the changes in patterns of consumption with deep integration of online and offline which accelerated digital transformation of commerce.

For example, livestreaming has led the new trend of consumption, with more than 290,000 live broadcasts attracting 950 million viewers.

“As a large-scale consumer festival during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the successful holding of the Shanghai Double Five Shopping Festival has demonstrated the city’s ability to precisely prevent and control the pandemic. It also showed the charm of China's domestic demand market, and sent a strong signal of economic recovery and a confidence boost to investors at home and abroad,” Hua said.

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