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September 4, 2010

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Annual shopping carnival offers retail therapy

SHANGHAI'S annual shopping carnival kicks off next Friday and runs through October 7, showcasing the city during the World Expo 2010.

Around 2,000 businesses will take part in more than 20,000 venues, and more than 500 events will be held in the Shanghai Shopping Festival.

A wine fair will be held at the Sichuan Road N. Park starting September 27. An exhibition of time-honored Chinese brands will be held from September 23 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.

The festival, which began in 2007, dramatically boosts retail sails, which increased 21.6 percent to 37.2 billion yuan (US$5.4 billion) last year.

Merchants see the benefits and are signing on. "Now they volunteer to be part of the festival but in the past we had to invite them," says Sha Hailin, chairman of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, a co-host of the event.

This year more cooperation and less of a price war are expected, he says.

The opening will be at Shanghai International Financial Center in Pudong's Lujiazui next Friday, with the closing ceremony at SML Central Square in Luwan District on October 7.

Both are major shopping developments opened this year.


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