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Sports events kick up Shanghai retailers over holiday
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A series of international sports events helped boost Shanghai's retail sales by a fifth during last week's National Day holiday, the city's economic commission said yesterday.


Sales generated by the 425 retailers surveyed jumped 20.5 percent to 5.1 billion yuan (US$680 million) between October 1 and 7 from the same period last year, the Shanghai Economic Commission said in a report. The growth rate was 3.7 percentage points higher than the pace registered during the Labor Day holiday in May and 6.1 percentage points higher than February's Spring Festival.


Chen Yuxian, author of the report, attributed the Golden Week spending boom partly to the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship, the Special Olympics and the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix, which all brought large numbers of athletes and sports fans to town.


"Several local shopping and tourism events coincided with the holiday, plus the good weather also pushed up sales," Chen said.


Hundreds of theme events were held citywide as part of the Shanghai Shopping Festival, including the Luwan District's imported food show, an international shopping carnival in Jing'an District, Huangpu's jewelry fete and a wine-tasting gala in Hongkou District.


Hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores were the leading contributors to the consumption boom, accounting for 41.2 percent of the total retail sales, the report said. Sales in department stores and shopping malls also rose.


But sales in the restaurant sector fell 16.4 percent to 137.8 million yuan from the same period a year earlier, and receipts for hotels and related service businesses dropped 3.2 percent to 97.2 million yuan, the report said, without stating a reason.


Local retail powerhouse Shanghai Brilliance (Group) Co generated 1.69 billion yuan in sales over the weeklong holiday, up 20.7 percent year on year and topping the eight major business groups surveyed by the commission.


Meanwhile, retail sales in the suburbs totaled 763 million yuan, up 16.6 percent, led by Nanhui, Songjiang, Jinshan, Qingpu and Baoshan districts, which reported a rise of more than 25 percent.


The report also said food prices remained stable during the holiday, with meat prices falling from the pre-holiday period while prices of green-leaf vegetables were up slightly.


(Shanghai Daily October 8, 2007)


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