China’s ‘618’ shopping festival got off to a good start after Omicron outbreak contained

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Staff from a logistics company sort packages at a storage center in Qinhuangdao, north China’s Hebei province. Photo: CGV

With recent Omicron surges largely contained, consumption in many Chinese cities, restricted over the past two months during the resurgence, has increased significantly thanks to government growth policies and market events like the annual report of the June 18 (618) shopping festival.

“I received several goods that I ordered during the pre-sale period,” a Shanghai resident surnamed Jiang told the Global Times on Saturday. As an avid online shopper, she halted nearly all online shopping during the city’s two-month lockdown from April to May.

“There are still some on the way,” she said, noting that the delivery of several of her packages appeared to have stalled as logistics companies struggled to handle large quantities of orders.

Several YTO Express parcel distribution centers were overloaded after the start of the shopping festival. The company transferred staff from other cities to support delivery in Shanghai city to cope with the hot consumption season.

JD.com kicked off the “28 Hour Rush” shopping festival at 8 p.m. Friday. The turnover of the 11 stores on the platform exceeded 100 million yuan in 10 minutes. More than 300,000 JD employees work on the front lines of warehousing and distribution, the company said.

Within 10 minutes, camera sales jumped 400% year over year. Smartphone sales surged 200% at JD.com, with domestic brand HONOR selling 100,000 handsets in one minute and Apple iPhone sales exceeding 100 million yuan in one second, according to data released by JD.com .

Although the “618” shopping festival was proposed by Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com to celebrate the company’s founding anniversary, it has now become a nationwide shopping frenzy with almost all online and offline stores and merchants taking advantage to increase sales.

“I was waiting for the festival to stock up on necessities for my newborn baby,” a resident of Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province, told the Global Times. She bought clothes and other daily necessities for her son from online and offline stores.

Another Beijing-based consumer told the Global Times that her shopping lists this year were quite different from previous years. “I bought high-quality appliances, like a high-end coffee machine,” she said, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed her lifestyle and she had decided to focus on improving the quality of daily life at home. .

An Italian coffee machine maker, lamarzocco, saw its sales on Alibaba’s Tmall.com site increase 6 times year-on-year on the first day of the shopping holiday.

Home appliances, including dishwashers, robot sweepers, projectors and smart pet toilets, are also seeing strong sales, Tmall said, noting that ‘quality of life’ consumption is a trend in the world. shopping festival this year.

Tmall has also stepped up its shopping efforts this year, increasing the usual 30 yuan discount for 300 yuan consumption to a deeper discount of 50 yuan. And VIP consumers have more coupons.

In addition to traditional e-commerce platforms, innovative new players such as live-streaming platform giant Douyin have also entered the new business arena.

Airlines have stepped up their efforts to provide transport as well. From June 1 to June 15, China Southern transported a total of 48,000 tons of cargo, up 19 percent month-on-month. The airline expects a second transport peak from Saturday to Monday.

The Omicron surges have hit Chinese consumption hard. In May, retail sales of consumer goods in China fell 6.7 percent year on year to end at 3.35 trillion yuan.

Tian Yun, a veteran economist, told the Global Times on Saturday that he predicted consumption would start accelerating since June. In 2022, retail sales could increase by around 1-2%.

world times


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