Unleashing consumption potential in spring

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, February 7, 2022
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Customers select products in a duty-free shop in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, Feb. 3, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

The weeklong Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, which this year began on Jan 31 and lasted till Sunday, is not only an important occasion for family reunions but also a peak season for consumption.

China's consumer market is expected to see recovery of growth this year-the "Year of the Tiger", the third one in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle-with the COVID-19 pandemic increasingly coming under better control and more supportive measures in the pipeline, industry experts said.

They underlined that online shopping has injected new impetus into China's consumption growth and helped enhance the resilience of the real economy.

"Consumption plays a fundamental role in China's economic development and is the main driving force boosting economic growth," said Wang Yun, a researcher with the Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

Although concrete figures are yet to emerge for this year's holiday sales, consumer spending during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday is expected to return to the pre-pandemic level or witness a slight increase, spurred by online shopping festivals held by e-commerce platforms and innovation in commodity supplies like time-honored brands and precooked cuisine, Wang said before Spring Festival, the most important holiday for Chinese people.

The sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks in several parts of the country have had a limited impact on consumer buying behavior, Wang said, adding high-quality brands and products are gaining traction among Chinese consumers.

Major online retailers launched a series of promotional events and distributed shopping coupons in the run-up to the Spring Festival holiday, in an attempt to boost consumption.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD said sales of tiger-themed products, including jewelry, gold ornaments, cosmetics, perfume, clothing and toys, sold very well since December. Consumption related to winter sports comes into spotlight this year, as sales of skiing and ice skating equipment, like suits, snow boots, gloves, caps and goggles, have witnessed robust growth triggered by the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which opened on Friday and will close on Feb 20, JD said.

Consumers also favored indoor fitness equipment like Nintendo's handheld gaming consoles Switch, treadmills and smart wristwatches that record calories burned, heart rate changes and the running distance.

The number of orders sent to another city rose by 30 percent year-on-year during the first week since JD's Spring Festival promotion gala kicked off on Jan 9, as many young urbanites decided to stay in the city where they work this year due to the pandemic and buy gifts online for their parents living in other cities, JD said.

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