Shopping festival to drive high-quality economic growth

Ding Yining
Shanghai has officially opened the second annual Double Five Shopping Festival.
Ding Yining
Shopping festival to drive high-quality economic growth
Ding Yining / SHINE

Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng opened the Shanghai Double Five Shopping Festival on Saturday.

Shanghai has officially opened the second annual Double Five Shopping Festival.

It is on a larger scale than a year ago as the city aspires to further enhance its position as an international hub for consumption and a globally renowned destination for shopping.

Local retailers, online vendors and apparel retailers are joining efforts and responding to the latest call from the city to introduce more high-end merchants and services.

Around 1,900 promotional activities will take to the stage during the two-month shopping festival.

Shopping festival to drive high-quality economic growth
Ding Yining / SHINE

The shopping season was off to a strong start this year with combined retail sales in the city between 8pm and 10pm on Saturday reaching 2 billion yuan, according to online and offline figure provided by China UnionPay, Alipay and WeChat Pay. 

Combined retail sales in Shanghai in the 24 hours by Sunday night reached 17.3 billion yuan, 11 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

"The major goal of the Double Five Shopping Festival is to link all parties of the supply chain and service providers," said deputy director of Shanghai Commerce Commission Liu Min.  "Shanghai has proved to be more influential and momentous in boosting brand awareness and driving synergies with neighboring provinces.

"It's a further step to drive high-quality economic growth by restructuring the supply side and stay as close as possible to consumers' evolving demand."

Shanghai is also offering supportive measures for old brands to take new initiatives and fully leverage digital means to step up influence. 

Alibaba's fresh food and grocery retailer Freshippo is setting up a specialty section for old-fashioned Shanghai-style cuisine during the shopping festival, and merchandise from more than 30 Shanghai caterers will be available during the promotional period. 

Shanghai's Jinfeng Wine is the latest time-honored brand to tieup with digital players to respond to the latest consumer trends. 

In the past two months, Freshippo fresh food and bakery team has been working with the brewery to use rice liquor as ingredients for desserts and crawfish. It has gained a warm response from shoppers. 

Suning is offering 50 percent more coupons compared with a year ago, with a total of 3 billion yuan worth of discounts for not only home appliances, daily necessities but also lifestyle services, entertainment activities at supermarkets and shopping malls. 

In addition, it's also providing 500 million yuan of trade-in subsidies for consumer electronics and special promotion for energy-saving home appliances. 

Shopping festival to drive high-quality economic growth
Ding Yining / SHINE

Shanghai has also become a forerunner when it comes to the adoption of cutting-edge digital solutions.

The digital yuan payment network now covers hundreds of retailers on Nanjing Road and more than two dozen of Suning's home appliance stores and several grocery stores.

Uniqlo is adding a new virtual dressing room for shoppers to try out the latest offerings on top of bringing over 50 types of new clothes including a tie-up with famous cartoon and animation works.

In the coming month, it's opening 21 new stores in China to deepen penetration in the local market.

Shanghai has designated 12 specific measures to introduce more high-end merchants and services, and pledged full support for new technologies, new business formats and new brands to take shape and bloom in the city.

Shanghai-headquartered Dada Group is offering online vouchers worth 150 million yuan for consumers on the platform to provide the “one-hour delivery” service for more seasonal and fashion products besides fresh food and daily necessities.

It's also promoting cosmetics and grocery brands such as Watsons and Innisfree to include more skincare products.

Pinduoduo is offering specialty discount for agricultural products from rural areas such as Yunnan, Qinghai and Xinjiang, and discounts are also offered at specialty supermarkets for agri products from rural areas.

More than 15,000 Shanghai brands and vendors are also selling through the platform which pledged to help local brands sell to nationwide shoppers.

Various forms of discount coupons are offered at Bright Dairy's online shops and mini programs, which are also eligible at Bright Food Group's offline food vendors. Specialty products include limited new dishes designed for the China Flower Expo to open later this month.

L'Oreal Group will debut more than a hundred new products and three new brands, DECLÉOR, Cosmetics and Valentino Beauty, will hit the Chinese market for the first time.

Paris L'Oreal will open its first concept flagship store on Nanjing Road in the coming week as it responds to the city's call for the setting up of flagship stores to woo consumers seeking transformational and inventive shopping experience.

Chairman Hu Jianping of Shanghai Dongchang Group said 187 models from 16 car brands are available for various forms of discounts at the dealership.

"The Labor Day holiday offers ample opportunity for shoppers to test drive new models so the shopping festival fits well with car buyers' habits," he noted.

Yum China's quick service restaurants and coffee chains are providing coupons, discounts, specialty products through its Shanghai outlets.

Its coffee chains Lavazza and COFFii&JOY will offer specialty drinks and membership limited discounts. 

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