Business / Industries

Traditional calendar days are numbered

By Xu Jingxi (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-02 10:06

Traditional calendar days are numbered

Stores in Hecheng, the biggest calendar-wholesale market in Guangzhou, struggle after bans on government spending on calendars. [Photo Provided to China Daily]

Calendar producers were caught off guard and suffered vast losses. Most of the ordered calendars would have been printed by the following month.

Many people left the industry the following year, Guangdong Printing Association secretary-general Kong Huanji said.

"The central policy blocked the orders from State-owned enterprises, which used to be a huge buyer," Kong told China Daily.

"Those who remain must take smaller orders from private enterprises. Profits are meager."

The owner of Guangzhou Chaoyi Calendar Co Ltd's shop in the Hecheng wholesale market said she will close her store after a clearance sale.

"Banks and China Mobile canceled all their orders after the ban," she said.

"Rent and production are expensive. I can't make ends meet. I won't shift to retail because startup costs are too high."

Hecheng market tenant Guangzhou Nianming Calendar&Gifts Co Ltd has managed to survive on orders from private enterprises and advertisers.

"Orders of 2,000 to 6,000 used to be our priority. We didn't have time to deal with smaller orders," said a salesperson and designer, who only gave her surname, Chen.

"But we now take small orders because the market collapsed. We won't close our company but will move to a smaller store near Hecheng's market. We can't afford the 100,000 yuan ($16,126) annual rent here."

Only two of about 40 stores were closed at another calendar-wholesale market four subway stops away.

But most have shifted to retail, shop owner Zhang Xiaolin said.

"Our orders now are only 100-plus each," she said.

"Profits can't cover rent. Wages are high. I may also close down this year."

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