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Retailers make a mint during Golden Week
( 2003-10-11 01:47) (China Daily)

Retailers saw their sales jump by a quarter during the week-long National Day holiday, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Some 118 key retailers in 36 large- and medium-sized cities made a combined 2.9 billion yuan (US$350 million) in sales over the period, its statistics show.

Sales rose by 25.5 per cent year-on-year due to retail promotions, the ministry said.

In Beijing, they increased by an even greater margin -- 28 per cent -- during the holiday. In Shanghai, more than 3,000 outlets of 261 large- and medium-sized retailers in the city sold 18.3 per cent more than during the same period last year. And sales in Tianjin grew by 14.8 per cent in the golden week.

Bestsellers over the holiday included sporting goods, electronics, decorations, jewellery, apparel, auto products, books and food.

For example, sales of mobile phones at Shandong-based Sanlian Group and Beijing-based Gome, two big electronics retailers, totalled 30,000 units, rising 60 per cent year-on-year.

The spending spree was welcomed by retailers who missed out on golden week sales during the May Day holiday because of the SARS crisis.

For the first half of this year, retail sales rose a year-on-year 8 per cent to 2,155.6 billion yuan (US$259.7 billion).

The rate was slower that the targeted annual growth rate of 9 per cent year-on-year.

The ministry said earlier that the annual target will only be met if retail sales grow by more than 9 per cent in the second half year.

And it is working with retailers towards this goal.

The ministry in August organized a national "market exploration'' campaign for the first time to revive domestic sales.

It will also work with the commerce, farm, manufacturing and banking sectors to stimulate domestic consumption as soon as possible.

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