Tue, Jan 20, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Retail sales spike on voucher spending

By Jerry Lin and Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Local retailers yesterday said sales spiked on Sunday as consumers spent their newly claimed vouchers on basic necessities and home appliances ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

“Sales on Sunday hit a new record high,” said Margery Ho (何默真), a spokeswoman for RT-Mart (大潤發). “Local consumers have been quite cautious about spending this year. We hope this positive sentiment will fuel a Lunar New Year holiday buying spree.”

Daily sales at RT-Mart’s local outlets on Sunday averaged more than NT$20 million (US$597,000), about 30 percent higher than the same period last year, Ho said.

Basic necessities, food and home appliances were the top-selling items, Ho said.

At Carrefour Corp Taiwan (家樂福), sales on Sunday alone doubled compared with the same period last year, spokesman Savana Tsai (戴幸芳) said.

However, the nation’s largest hypermarket operator declined to comment on a local TV station’s report that daily sales reached NT$600 million.

Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co (燦坤實業), the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer, said that sales were estimated to have exceeded NT$450 million on Sunday.

But Tsann Kuen said the boost from consumer vouchers could be short-lived, adding that sales for the season could still drop 20 percent compared with last year.

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