Tens of thousands of Australian shoppers hit department stores yesterday for the annual Boxing Day sales, with ailing retailers hoping to ring up A$1.7 billion (US$1.73 billion) in purchases.
Australia’s resources-driven economy is not in recession and boasts low unemployment, but with uncertainty growing Australians have become much more conservative consumers, saving at a rate not seen for 20 years.
After a dismal year in retail and a disappointing lead-up to Christmas, in which cold and rainy weather hurt summer fashion turnover, storekeepers were hoping from a boost from the traditional bargain sales.
“We’re anticipating that the spend today alone will be somewhere in the vicinity of [A]$1.7 billion,” Australian National Retailers Association chief executive Margy Osmond told ABC TV.
Over the week, consumers are expected to spend A$5.5 billion, she said.
Hundreds of people waited in pre-dawn darkness outside David Jones and Myer department stores in Melbourne and Sydney, which opened at 5am yesterday, while shopping precincts were swarming with crowds hunting for bargains.
Australians failed to spend big in last month and this month, despite interest rate cuts in those months bringing relief to mortgage holders, while the high Aussie dollar has also hurt retailers.
However, shoppers yesterday snapped up electrical items, homewares and new clothes, and younger consumers hunted for heavily discounted designer fashion items.
Retailers view Boxing Day sales as an important indicator of the coming year and David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra, said early indications were that the sales had brought out as many people as last year.
“It’s pleasing given the tough start to the retail sector this season,” he said.
However, “We can’t mislead ourselves. This is not necessarily going to be enough to spell any kind of recovery for the retail sector who will be moving into their most difficult time of the year, which is the first quarter,” Osmond said
In September, top-end department store David Jones reported full-year net profits dropped 1.5 percent and warned of difficult conditions amid the retail slump.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US