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January 29, 2012

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City retailers have reason to smile

THE Year of the Dragon is off to a strong start for Shanghai retailers.

With average daily sales at around 812 million yuan (US$128.5 million) for the Spring Festival holiday, retailers in the city have had the best holiday shopping season since 1999.

The statistics covered 4,000 stores belonging to 452 large and mid-sized retailers. They rang up combined sales of 5.69 billion yuan from January 22 to January 28, according to data released by the Shanghai Commission of Commerce yesterday.

The total sales represent 14 percent growth from the Spring Festival period in 2011.

The commission said consumers spent 935 million yuan on January 22, Chinese New Year's Eve, the highest in the past seven days. Nextage Department Store recorded the highest sales among the stores tracked with purchases, rising 6 percent to 133.1 million yuan during the holiday.

Among all items, gold bars featuring dragons proved popular with consumers. Gold and jewelry stores said sales increased 24.6 percent over the past seven days. Some stores even reported a 61 percent sales surge.

There was also strong demand for home electronics such as 3D TVs priced at more than 10,000 yuan each.

Consumers also spent 134 million yuan at 75 catering establishments over the past seven days, an increase of 11 percent year on year.

Nationwide, retail sales for the Spring Festival holiday rose 16.2 percent year on year, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

Shops and restaurants across the country pocketed 470 billion yuan in sales volume, with that of clothes, jewelry and food sales rising 18.7 percent, 16.4 percent and 16.2 percent respectively, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, more than 3.1 million tourists visited Shanghai during the holiday, up about 3 percent from the same period last year. This created 2.9 billion yuan (US$458 million) in revenue, the Shanghai Tourism Administration said yesterday.

As a traditional destination for Chinese New Year, Yuyuan Garden was once again the top tourist attraction in the city. More than 2.7 million people went there for the temple fair and other celebrations.

Scenic spots that held events marking the start of the Year of the Dragon were also popular. Dragon and lion dance parades attracted more than 300,000 visitors at Xintiandi. More than 78,000 people went to the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum to catch an exhibition about the Chinese zodiac.

The number of Shanghai people who went overseas for the break also increased. More than 64,000 people went overseas for the holiday, while even more chose surrounding provinces. According to the China Tourism Academy, Shanghai people were the most enthusiastic about travel during the holiday.


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