Retailers brace for gift and travel bonanza during Golden Week
Retailers have high hopes for spending related to leisure and travel as the upcoming holiday for the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday wraps up the third quarter.
Time-honored brands, caterers and major retailers are gearing up for the weeklong break.
Encouraging figures in retail spending and travel expenditure have shown strong sentiment across a wide range of categories.
Meituan said bookings for travel tickets, hotel bookings and transportation had already doubled from that of 2019, and bookings for restaurant dining also jumped 112 percent.
It anticipated the first peak period for Mid Autumn Festival travel will fall between September 30 and October 2.
"In August we've seen some promising figures in terms of retail, and the consumption market is taking a stable recovery pace during the upcoming Golden Week and in the rest of the year," said PwC China consumer markets leader Jennifer Ye.
A recent survey by PwC of more than 1,200 Chinese consumers showed 64 percent of respondents planned to increase their leisure and travel spending in the next six months, higher than the global level of 40 percent.
Local delicacies have become an appealing reason for food lovers to visit domestic travel destinations and try out distinctive menus. The amount of restaurant bookings for family gathering meals at Meituan also jumped 90 percent from a year earlier.
Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Shenzhen are expected to have the largest number of outbound travelers, while Xi'an, Chongqing, Chengdu, Changsha, Beijing and Wuhan are the top destinations.
The Asian Games also attracted domestic and overseas visitors to neighboring Zhejiang Province, where the volume of restaurant dining surged over 3.8 times from that of 2019.
Time-honored brands have also moved early to woo consumers not only with mooncake and gifting boxes, but also ready-to-heat home meals and dim sum.
Executive chef of the Sunya Cantonese Restaurant Huang Renkang was invited at a recent live-streaming session to introduce mooncake bakery tips and some of ready-to-cook dishes were also featured at Meituan's live-streaming sessions.
CCFA's latest survey of 59 supermarkets and chain stores showed that retailers have higher expectations for sales performance during the golden week holiday than a year ago, thanks to gift buying and travel-related spending.
Leisure spending and packaged foods are expected to climb and family reunions and gatherings to also push up sales.
In downtown Shanghai, retailers have leveraged pop-up stores and new performance spaces to shore up foot traffic for not only shoppers but art lovers and theatergoers.
Mid-Autumn festive elements and new dessert dishes will be offered at the Tai'er restaurant by Hong Kong-listed catering group Jiumaojiu Holdings.
At the Xintiandi Style Mall, green will be the key element to promote environmentally friendly restaurants and recycling concepts.
An immersive exhibition based on Tencent's romance role playing gaming Light and Night will be staged at the No.1 Shopping Center on the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall after a dedicated area was recently set up to include favourite elements of cartoon and animation lovers.
Further renovations will be completed next year to link different halls at the No.1 Shopping Center to expand its theater space and attract more viewers.