Sat, Jul 19, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Stores cautious on consumer spending

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation’s hypermarkets and department stores said yesterday they are conservative about sales growth in the second half of this year as consumer spending is likely to be undercut by higher oil and electricity prices.

Far Eastern Department Stores Ltd (遠東百貨), the nation’s third largest department store chain with eight stores nationwide, expects sales to grow by 5 percent year-on-year in the second half, down from 8 percent growth in the first half.

Meo Cheng (鄭家蕙), public relations manager at Far Eastern, said the recent increase in the oil price had lowered the shopping frequency rate of its customers as they attempt to save money on gasoline.

Far Eastern Geant Co (愛買), the third-largest hypermarket chain in Taiwan, said it hoped sales growth this quarter would be maintained at 10 percent year-on-year.

“But it will still depend on sales performance during the upcoming Moon Festival [Aug. 15], which is one of the most important holiday periods for hypermarkets, as it generally accounts for 20 percent of our annual sales,” Henry Yin (尹皓), public relations assistant manager at Far Eastern Geant, said yesterday.

Both Far Eastern Department Stores and Far Eastern Geant, along with three other stores and hypermarkets, received awards from the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday in recognition of their efforts to help stimulate domestic consumption through the launch of various promotional activities.

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