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Friday, 16 February 2018

(The Star) Shoppers more price-savvy this year

PETALING JAYA: Shoppers were more price-savvy when they made their Chinese New Year purchases this year compared to the previous years, says Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Datuk Seri Garry Chua.

Malaysians, he added, are now starting to do their Chinese New Year shopping nearer to the big day this year rather than weeks in advance as what was seen in the past few years.

“This year, we see a lot of last-minute shopping.

“Normally, they start shopping about three or four weeks before Chinese New Year.

Chua said that one example was mandarin oranges, where many people bought the fruit just a week before Chinese New Year.

“The last-minute shopping was a sign of consumers waiting for better deals rather than a decrease in purchasing power. It’s (called) cautious spending.

“Malaysians have money, as can be seen by the increase in domestic tourism last year, so there is a propensity to spend.

“People have the buying power, but they are waiting for value-for-money purchases,” he added.

Chua predicted that sales will also pick up during the period right after Chinese New Year as retailers hold post-holiday sales and promotions.

He said that the last-minute shopping will not affect retailers as the volume of purchases made will still be high.

“Sales should be as good as last year’s (during the same period).

“The increase in tourists from China will also help with sales,” he said, adding that retailers selling luxury goods and retailers in cities often visited by Chinese tourists will benefit from tourism spending.

Chua also observed that food and beverage outlets were also doing well this Chinese New Year, as more families chose to hold reunion dinners at restaurants instead of at home.

He said many people have told him that it was difficult to book a table at the last minute due to the increase in families holding their reunion dinners at restaurants.