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Ebeling Heffernan Report on China Retail

China has developed a very strong retail market as a result of the continued economic growth over the past decade. The reliance on outside markets for export is still vital to the economy, but China has become a major consumer in its own right, and that growth keeps on year after year.

China’s rapid growth and increased level of consumption is starting to spread growth across the entire region. Asia is fast becoming a retail market worthy of the world’s attention, and not just a 3rd world destination for cheap production.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods totaled 570 billion Yuan (about 83.5 billion U.S. dollars) during the National Day holiday, with average daily sales up 18 percent compared with the same period of last year, the Ministry of Commerce said Friday.

Sales of household appliances soared during the eight-day holiday which started from Oct. 1. Among them, high-definition flat screen TV sets, digital cameras, side-by-side refrigerators and 3G mobile phones are consumers’ favorites. In the case of Kaiyuan Mall in Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, sales of household appliances gained by 34.7 percent year on year.

Jewelry and cars became hot sellers as well. The sales of jewelry of Caishikou Department Store in Beijing topped 100 million Yuan, up 30 percent year on year. Car sales of major car-selling companies in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality increased by 71.7 percent year on year.

The selling boom in the home appliance and car sectors was partly stimulated by a policy approved by the State Council in June this year, aiming to spur domestic consumption by subsidizing buyers of cars and household appliances, according to the ministry.

For example, consumers can first sell their old household appliances to recycling companies and obtain a certification card from the recyclers. Card holders then can purchase new appliances with a 10 percent cut in prices when showing retailers the card.

Meanwhile, sales promotion in major cities also played an important role in the holiday consumption boom.