Shopping festival brings back consumers to iconic pedestrian mall
Consumption has been largely spurred on Shanghai's Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall under a major shopping promotion campaign to drive up business recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sales at department stores on the pedestrian street have increased by 25 percent, while consumption at time-honored food stores and restaurants has risen by 35 percent since the promotion was launched on August 18, the Huangpu District government said on Thursday.
As part of the city's Double Five Shopping Festival, the pedestrian street, recognized as China's No. 1 commercial street, has offered a first round of 18,000 shopping coupons with half discounts. It plans to issue a total of 30,000 coupons worth 100 million yuan (US$14.7 million) until the end of 2022.
Customers can purchase the discounted coupon on the pedestrian mall's mini program on Alipay, which can be used at major shopping centers, such as Shanghai New World Department Store and Shanghai New World Daimaru, as well as eatery brands on the street.
Half of the first batch of coupons had been used as of August 28, bringing back a large number of consumers, who were deterred by the COVID-19 resurgence since March, according to Shanghai New World Co, which owns major shopping centers on Nanjing Road E.
New World Department Store, for instance, saw a 60 percent increase in sales over the weekend. The most popular products included cosmetics, jewelry as well as children's clothes and shoes.
Food and mooncake sales have doubled at Sunya Cantonese Restaurant. With the coupon, consumers can buy 600-yuan food products by paying 300 yuan.
The pedestrian street, running between the Bund and Xizang Road M. in Huangpu District, received about 200 million visitors in 2021. Over 40 percent among them were under 30 years old, according to statistics.
The total sales of the pedestrian mall exceeded 10 billion yuan last year, making it one of the most lucrative commercial hubs in the city.
However, it suffered an unprecedented impact from the latest round of COVID-19 resurgence. The brick-and-mortar shops on the street have struggled to win back customers two months after the lift of the city's lockdown in June.
"The shopping festival has injected a cardiotonic to the pedestrian street," said Chen Yong, president of Shanghai New World Co.
"The large number of coupons has delivered a message that the economy and consumption will be brought back on track soon," he added.