Wed, Apr 24, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Department stores count on Mother’s Day promotions after slow first quarter

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Department store operators have high hopes for Mother’s Day sales specials following a slow start to the year. Most department stores are set to start their sales this week or next, although some began their promotional activities earlier.

Pacific Sogo Department Stores Co (太平洋崇光百貨), the nation’s second-largest department store chain managed by Far Eastern Group (遠東集團), expects revenue from its pre-Mother’s Day sales to show 5 percent to 10 percent growth from a year earlier.

“We have seen some positive signs from March, indicating spring swallows are coming,” Sogo president Lee Kuang-jong (李光榮) told a press conference yesterday, adding that the company had experienced a slow first quarter, especially in the garment sector.

The company saw its sales drop by 4 percent to 5 percent in the first two months from a year earlier, in line with a decline in average daily customer traffic, he said.

The rebound in customer traffic last month boosted the company’s sentiment toward the momentum for pre-Mother’s Day sales, and Sogo would adjust counters and tenants to boost garment sector sales, Lee said.

Far Eastern Department Stores Co (遠東百貨), which has 10 department stores, also saw slowing business in January and February.

Far Eastern sales assistant vice president Chuang Chien-hsiang (莊見祥) said the company hoped its two-round pre-Mother’s Day sales could generate NT$5.4 billion (US$180.77 million) in revenue, an increase of 13.4 percent from a year earlier.

However, sales only expanded 5 percent in the first round of promotions, increasing the pressure on the second round of promotions that start tomorrow to achieve double-digit growth.

Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store Co (新光三越百貨), the nation’s largest department store chain, said revenue during its month-long pre-Mother’s Day sales may total NT$8.6 billion, up 3 percent from a year earlier.

It also divided its pre-Mother’s Day sales into two rounds. First-round sales, which end today, were in line with expectations, it said.

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