To showcase the capital's cultural heritage and distinctive shopping areas, the Taipei City Government has integrated four commercial areas near the train station to offer consumers well-managed holiday bazaars offering New Year goods.
The two-week Taipei 2006 New Year Shopping Carnival will start on Friday and run through Jan. 27, one day before Lunar New Year's Eve.
Taiwanese people traditionally purchase dried farm produce, dried aquatic products, pickled foodstuffs, peanuts and sweets for the Lunar New Year holiday.
The four areas include Dihua Street (
"Some of the goods sold in our bazaars are cheaper than those in hypermarkets by 20 to 30 percent," said Huang Ching-sung (黃錦松), chief of the four commercial areas, at a press conference yesterday.
With the launch of the marketing campaign, the Datong Administrative District Office estimated that during the 15 days, combined sales should exceed the NT$3 billion (US$94 million) posted last year with 700,000 to 800,000 shoppers visiting the 400 stores.
To create a more friendly environment, the district office is taking the lead role in managing food quality, noise control and traffic problems, said Huang Mei-yun (黃媺雲), director of the district office.
"It'll be a fun and interesting place to shop for New Year goodies and necessities," she said.
To snatch a bigger share of the tremendous New Year sales, hypermarket operators have also launched a series of festive activities and promotions.
Carrefour Taiwan and Tesco Stores (Taiwan) Co have the longest promotional periods, starting last Thursday and running through the end of this month.
"Gift boxes have become a key segment as sales during the Lunar New Year period are six times those during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The demand is tremendous," said Daisy Lee (李如秀), Tesco's corporate affairs manager.
With cooking habits changing, sales of gift boxes full of dried foodstuff, such as abalones, are gradually declining, giving way to those highlighting healthy and natural items, according to Margery Ho (
"Last year, sales of health-focused gift boxes grew by 30 percent year-on-year. We expect that the strong growth momentum will persist this year," Ho said.
Far Eastern Geant (
The four operators will be open 24 hours a day starting about a week before the New Year, and hope to post 20-30 percent growth in revenues from last year.