Another successful run for Double Five Shopping Festival

Huang Yixuan
The second Shanghai Double Five Shopping Festival came to a close, with overall offline consumption in the city of close to 500 billion yuan.
Huang Yixuan

The second Shanghai Double Five Shopping Festival came to a close, wrapping up more than 380 key events and over 1,900 activities.

Boosted by promotions during the shopping festival, the city's retail sales of consumer goods surged 15.7 percent in May from a year earlier – 16.4 percent higher than the same period in 2019 – while the figure for June is projected to post a 10 percent year-on-year rise, according to the Shanghai Commission of Commerce.

Monitoring data from payments showed overall offline consumption in the city topped 499.1 billion yuan (US$77.11 billion) during Double Five, up 12 percent year on year, while online retail sales increased 14 percent to 290.5 billion yuan.

Two-hundred-thirty key sample enterprises brought in total revenue of 79.5 billion yuan, up 14 percent from a year earlier.

The festival highlighted the "first stores" newly set up in Shanghai. In the first half of the year, the city became home to 513 first stores of different varieties, a surge of 60.3 percent from a year earlier, generally recovering to the same level as before the COVID-19 outbreak. International brands accounted for about 15 percent of those first stores, most of which are from Japan, the United States, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Italy.

The retail, food and beverage, and services and entertainment sectors have all seen the number of first stores mushroom, with the year-on-year growth of 24.3, 63.4 and 12.3 percent respectively.

Of the 513 stores, six were first stores of their brands globally or in Asia, and 69 marked their debut in China.

Liu Min, deputy director of the commerce commission, mentioned a series of measures bringing benefits to the public, such as the policy on offering subsidies for replacing old cars with new, which has so far received applications from around 64,000 residents.

The commission revealed its plan to bolster consumption in the second half of the year, saying "we will make all-around efforts to build the city into an international consumption center."

Digital transformation in commerce will also be a priority, for which an implementation plan will be released in the near future with detailed supportive measures.

While the plan is carried out, according to Liu, the city will accelerate the construction of more commercial sceneries, such as digital business districts, launching demonstration projects and expanding the use of digital yuan and increasing the number of merchants supporting e-yuan payments.

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