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Foreign food and fashion do well in Expo store sales gains

TOTAL product sales inside Expo Shanghai have hit 1.4 billion yuan (US$20.6 million) since the Expo started, including more than 300 million yuan's worth of sales by stores run by pavilions.

The figure reaches earlier expectations, a senior Expo organizer said yesterday.

Business has improved a lot at the site's restaurants which attracted 7 million people in June, a quarter more than in May when few visitors had meals at the restaurants because of higher prices, said Lin Shengyong, head of the Expo commerce department.

The average price of a meal with drinks at the site's restaurants was now about 44 yuan, Lin said.

Sales were quite good at the 80 restaurants and about 70 gift shops run by Expo pavilions, which Lin said were even more popular than those outside the pavilions, especially if they offer foreign fashion products.

Nacho Preciado, the Spain Pavilion's boutique director, said its gift shop sales far exceeded early expectations of around 60,000 yuan a day.

Preciado said the pavilion initially opened the gift shop as a showroom for about 15 Spanish brands but found to their surprise the products sold quickly.

The pavilion sells more than 10 brands of shoes with an average price of 1,200 yuan and has run out of handbags which cost more than 4,000 yuan a piece. It will re-stock with another 200 this week to meet the demand.

Sales of Expo passports have been dropping off. At their peak in June, 40 percent of visitors scrambled to buy the popular souvenir. Now, daily sales hover around 50,000 against a daily visitor flow of 400,000 to half a million.

The Expo services center has received 425 complaints so far about commercial products, accounting for 60 percent of all complaints. About 95 percent of the complaints have been solved.

The Expo organizers have set up a precious stones advisory body in response to complaints by people concerned about the quality of valuable gems they purchased.

Around China, the value of sales of certified Expo products has already surpassed the 20 billion yuan target.

Gu Jun, deputy head of the Shanghai Commerce Commission, said "the higher the better" for sales, declining to give a new target.

Some ice drinks, including mung bean soup that many Chinese families drink in hot weather to ease the effects of the summer heat, will be served soon at the site, Lin with the Expo commerce department said.

Lin also said that only a small number of fake licensed products of Expo Shanghai had been found at the Expo site. He added that more measures will be taken to eliminate the fake products, but did not elaborate.


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