The wave of growth ridden by Shanghai retailers this year is cresting during the National Day holiday, the city's Commercial Commission said yesterday.
More than 3.5 million domestic and overseas tourists -- a 10 percent increase over 2001 -- are expected to visit during the weeklong break, the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission reported.
"The huge crowds of tourists have contributed to the soaring revenue of the city's restaurants and hotels," said Chen Yuxian, a Commercial Commission official. "And spending on entertainment and catering is increasing, in addition to shopping."
But local residents are clearly doing their part, since the commission said Shanghai's 238 leading retailers reported a 17.7 percent year-on-year increase in business for the first three days of the holiday.
That translates into sales of 880 million yuan (US$106 million). The names of the individual retailers doing best also suggest consumption by Shanghainese, since two of the three biggest gainers specialize in home decoration.
During the first eight months of the year, Shanghai retail sales rose 9.8 percent year-on-year to 131.9 billion yuan.
City officials trace much of the holiday boom to their continuing program to upgrade leading commercial areas, bringing in more top brands and giving each area a distinct personality.
For the six days that ended yesterday, Nanjing Road W. -- home of such top shopping centers as Plaza 66, Citic Square and Westgate Mall -- reported a year-on-year increase of 25.8 percent in sales.
And chic Huaihai Road M. saw sales gain 22.9 percent over a year ago.
During the first three days of the holiday, local restaurant revenues climbed 11.8 percent over a year ago.
Restaurants under the Shanghai New Asia (Group) Co. Ltd., which include KFC outlets, reported a 22.5 percent increase in revenue.
An average of 78.8 percent of rooms in star-rated and budget hotels were occupied during the three days, up 16 percentage points year-on-year.
New Asia Star, a budget hotel chain, reported a 115.4 percent jump in revenue over last year.
A growing vogue for online shopping was evident as ego365.com -- which takes orders by phone as well as over the Internet -- registered the biggest increase in sales of any local retailer.
It said business was up 210 percent over the same period a year ago during the last six days.
Next came Homemart, with a 79.9 percent increase, and B&Q Decorative Materials Co. Ltd., with one of 58.1 percent.
(eastday.com October 4, 2002)