Rainy four-day holiday may boost local retailers

SILVER LINING::Far Eastern Department Stores said it could see strong sales if there is unsettled weather, especially of beverages, food and cinema tickets

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Sep 20, 2013 - Page 13

Strong seasonal demand for barbecues, mooncakes and snack products during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday this year could boost local retailers such as convenience stores, supermarkets and department stores.

President Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商), the nation’s largest convenience store operator, said yesterday that sales of products related to the festival are expected to increase by 30 percent this year from last year.

Compared with the same period last year, the convenience store operator did increase the number of mooncake and snack gift boxes it ordered this year, but it expects to sell more exclusive gift boxes priced about NT$300 based on consumers’ appetites and interests.

“The four-day holiday will see more people travel back to their hometowns, further raising the sales of gift boxes,” PCSC said in a statement.

Eyeing strong seasonal demand for barbecue accessories and food items, 7net — the online shopping portal of PCSC — launched sales of steak and seafood products, which consumers can order via the Internet and get delivered, the statement said.

Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店), the nation’s second-largest convenience store operator, said it has seen sales of gift boxes climb by more than 10 percent from last year since the company launched a pre-sales campaign in July.

FamilyMart also sees strong market potential for beverages during the four-day holiday, citing associated demand when people purchase barbecue food.

Differentiating themselves from convenience store operators, supermarket chains have adopted a strategy of price cuts to raise sales of products related to the Mid-Autumn Festival.

RT-Mart International Ltd (大潤發流通事業), under the management of Ruentex Group (潤泰集團), said it has seen sales of kitchen appliances, led by barbecue grills, increase by 50 percent this year as the possibility of Typhoon Usagi making landfall saw more people set to enjoy an indoor barbecue during the festival.

A.mart (愛買量販店), part of Far Eastern Retail Group (遠東零售集團), has also extended operating hours over the past two days to boost business, aiming for an annual growth rate of 20 percent during the festival.

Meanwhile, the rainy weather expected during the four-day holiday could be a boost for department store operators.

Far Eastern Department Stores Co (遠東百貨), which operates 10 department stores and Taipei Metro’s The Mall (遠企購物中心), said its business may see strong growth if there is bad weather, with sales of food and beverages, as well as sales of cinema tickets, expected to be the strongest.