Chinese New Year celebration
Big retailers ramp up campaigns
Festival spending expected to hit eight-year high of Bt45 bn: survey
Malls have launched several campaigns to cash in on this Chinese New Year season, after a survey estimated that shoppers would spend about Bt45 billion during the festival.
That is the highest amount in eight years, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, which conducted the survey.
The Mall Group is investing more than Bt100 million in its "2013 Chinese New Year Celebration", which began on January 24 and runs until February 17 at The Mall, The Emporium and Siam Paragon.
Chamnarn Maytaprechakul, the group's senior marketing officer, said the retail market had been quite active from the New Year season to Children's Day, and this trend was expected to continue for the Chinese New Year.
Meanwhile, Central Department Store is investing Bt120 million in its Chinese New Year campaign, which includes free tickets to Macau, as shoppers are expected to spend Bt3 billion to welcome the Year of the Snake that begins on Sunday.
Piyawan Leelasompop, Central's vice president for marketing, said consumer behaviour since the end of 2012 had demonstrated extraordinarily high purchasing power, which had continued unabated even as the lunar Year of the Dragon draws to a close.
The Lunar New Year is a significant and exciting period for Chinese and Thai-Chinese, and is expected to be marked by a further upswing in consumer activity and department-store sales.
"Many positive factors are supporting sales, such as the government's announcement of higher daily wages and salaries," Piyawan said. "Moreover, people have received payment of their year-end bonuses, particularly those in the private sector. These factors have contributed to the increase in consumption due to the demand for new clothing and household items. This demand may also extend to purchases of special gifts for themselves or their loved ones."
She said another positive factor was strong tourism statistics, which indicated that the number of Chinese nationals visiting Thailand was skyrocketing, more than other inbound travellers such as Malaysians, Russians and Japanese. This will benefit local industries including shopping venues and restaurants.
Piyawan said Central Department Store had budgeted Bt120 million for its "Central Chinese New Year 2013" campaign, running for 11 days from yesterday to February 17.
"Organising such events that bring happiness to our customers will have an emotional impact and encourage spending. We believe that sales generated through this campaign period will definitely be equal to that of the preceding year, which enjoyed a 10-per-cent increase. Therefore, the sales generated this year should not be less than Bt3 billion."
Chiranun Poopat, a senior vice president of Central Food Retail, said the company forecast business growth during Chinese New Year at 30 per cent compared with last year. The company operates Tops Super, Tops Market, Tops Daily and Central Food Hall.
"We have seen many positive factors such as the rise in domestic consumption, the increase of minimum wages, and stability of the overall business climate. We have seen consumer spending grow by 20 per cent since the New Year holidays and continue to rise," she said. "We plan to spend Bt30 million for promotional and marketing activities during this seasonal campaign."
The company is holding a marketing event called "China's Best 2013" to feature its premium selections of food for the season. It began on January 31 and runs until Sunday at Central Food Hall on the seventh floor of CentralWorld. The company has also prepared 3,000 products to serve customers' needs during the festival.
Tesco Lotus also announced the launch of its first marketing campaign of 2013, "Heng Heng Heng Mahaheng Number 8", to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The company is also highlighting its "one-stop shopping" strategy by offering a variety of products and introducing a festive "Chinatown" product section at its stores until Sunday. The campaign began on January 24.
Central Pattana, Central Group's retail property developer, is joining forces with Advanced Info Service, Kasikornbank Credit Card, Minute Maid Pulpy, Charles & Keith online store, Thai Life Insurance, and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority on a Bt50-million-plus campaign.
"The Great Chinese New Year 2013" campaign under the concept "Shop to the Max with Chinese Happiness Troops" started yesterday and will run until March 10 at CentralWorld, CentralPlaza, and CentralFestival Pattaya Beach.