A con­trast next door

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By CHAIHUA in Shen­zhen

Com­pared to Hong Kong’s trou­bled re­tail­ers, their coun­ter­parts in the neigh­bor­ing Shen­zhen are en­joy­ing a grow­ing mar­ket both on­line and off­line.

Shen­zhen’s to­tal re­tail sales of con­sumer goods in Septem­ber reached about 48.59 bil­lion yuan ($7.06 bil­lion), up 7.8 per­cent over Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to the city’s sta­tis­tics of­fice.

Its data also show the fig­ure has been grow­ing over 8 per­cent month-on­month right through this year.

In com­par­i­son, HongKong re­tail sales have de­clined for 19 con­sec­u­tive months to HK$33.8 bil­lion ($4.36 bil­lion) in Septem­ber.

Li­uLuyu, di­rec­tor of the En­ter­prise­and Mar­ket Re­search Cen­tre un­der the China De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute, a Shen­zhen­based think tank, be­lieves the bur­geon­ing new con­sump­tion ar­eas pushed Shen­zhen into a whole new­con­sump­tion era.

He said lo­cal peo­plenow­like to pay for prod­ucts they were un­will­ing to buy in the past, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion, high­end fash­ion and healthy food.

Lo­cal res­i­dents are evolv­ing from ba­sic to high-end con­sump­tion, he said.

As the city’s econ­omy con­tin­ues to ex­pand, the pur­chas­ing power of Shen­zhen cus­tomers has been grow­ing, said Neil Maf­fey, chief mer­chan­diz­ing of­fi­cer of Sam’s Club China, a high-end re­tailer in­Wal­mart Inc.

The main­land’s first Sam’s Club opened in Shen­zhen in 1996. In sales, it has topped the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s units glob­ally for eight con­sec­u­tive years and is ex­pected to re­tain the crown this year as well.

Maf­fey thinks Shen­zhen shop­pers are open to new things as it has fos­tered a more in­ter­na­tion­al­ized con­sump­tion mar­ket, as ev­i­denced in surg­ing sales of im­ported prod­ucts.

Its on­line re­tail sales are grow­ing even faster. On Sin­gles Day of 2015, Shen­zhen con­sumers spent 2.5 bil­lion yuan, top­ping the city-wise na­tional sales list.

This year, the sales record was bro­ken in the first 12 hours ofNov 11 and Alibaba held its cus­tom­ary celebrity-en­riched gala and count­down to the an­nual on­line fes­ti­val in Shen­zhen.

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