China / Society

Beijing cautious of sales promotions after Shanghai stampede

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-06 19:41

BEIJING - Beijing authorities have tightened supervision on sales promotions in shops and supermarkets out of fear of tragedies like Shanghai's deadly New Year's stampede.

Public security and commerce authorities in Beijing's Chaoyang District, a busy commercial area, have ordered some large shopping malls and supermarkets to strictly follow a reporting system for sales promotions.

Retailers, including Carrefour and Walmart, are required to apply for a permit for promotions from the local public security bureau 20 days in advance, but the rule was not taken seriously by some retailers.

They are also required to carefully carry out safety checks and risk assessments, as well as deploy security measures beforehand, such as arranging for security guards at store entrances.

Many supermarkets and shops have planned generous discounts for the Chinese Lunar New Year, a traditional festival that falls in mid-February this year. However, the safety of bargain-hunters has become a concern following the Shanghai tragedy that claimed 36 lives and injured more than 40 people.

The concern may not be alarmist, since a 2007 stampede triggered by a Carrefour sales promotion killed three people and injured 31 others in Southwest China's Chongqing City.

A spokesman with the commerce commission of Chaoyang District said they will persuade retailers not to initiate flash sales.

A new Hualian supermarket in Chaoyang that was scheduled to offer doorbuster specials to celebrate its grand opening Monday was ordered to halt the promotion for fear of possible accidents.

The supermarket failed to report its promotion plan as required by regulations, according to the spokesman.

Crowded conditions and slack safety management during festivals often lead to safety hazards. In 2004, 37 people died in a stampede on a bridge in suburban Beijing during the Lantern Festival.

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