Retailers reap holiday season rewards
Gain City's November, December performance beats that of last year
Several home-grown retailers that have both a strong online and offline presence are ending the pandemic year on a high, reporting brisk business and even record-breaking sales achieved over the annual year-end sale season amid increased footfall in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Compared with the same period last year, Gain City recorded a 50 per cent surge in online sales for its Black Friday event, while its 12.12 sale broke all its past online records during the first 12 hours.
Mr Terence Ang, Gain City's head of digital marketing and e-commerce, told The New Paper: "Our November and December performance surpassed that of the same period last year. This will help to make up for the lost sales during the circuit breaker. We certainly hope this upward trend will continue through the upcoming festive period."
Harvey Norman enjoyed a double digit percentage increase in sales for the 12.12 weekend, and the Black Friday collaboration the retailer did with Singapore Press Holdings saw success when all 500 $25 vouchers issued to readers were snapped up on the day of release.
Mr Kenneth Aruldoss, managing director of Harvey Norman Asia, told TNP: "The addition of three new stores at The Centrepoint, Seletar Mall and Westgate helped make up for the lack of events this year. With aggressive promotions and advertising, we did fairly well despite the pandemic situation."
Department store chain BHG saw an "optimistic" 17 per cent increase in average transaction value across its five physical outlets this holiday season and a 60 per cent increase in online visitorship, owing to the launch of new channel bhgsingapore.com.sg in June and the revamped beauty hall at Bugis Junction in September.
Ms Angela Cheng, course manager and senior lecturer of e-commerce and retail management specialisation at Nanyang Polytechnic's School of Business Management, attributes such positive performances and recent crowd sightings at malls to "pent-up spending".
She said: "What would have been spent on overseas travel and shopping is somewhat expressed in a resurgence in the dining scene - anecdotally, booking of restaurants seems harder - and now, in the shopping arena."
Mr Lucas Tok, section head and lecturer of digital marketing and branding at Singapore Polytechnic's School of Business, added: "Being the last festive weekend, consumers who are out finding last-minute gifts or want to revel in the festivities will find it 'safer' with the announcement of phase three coming soon.
"Those who have been prudent with their expenditure for the majority of the year, where most purchases have been on needs rather than wants... will (also) find cause to celebrate and be open to spending a little more during this period to reward themselves for surviving a tumultuous year."
As total retail sales in October achieved a growth of 0.2 per cent, according to statistics published by the Department of Statistics Singapore, Ms Cheng said "unless there are drastic changes with the Covid-19 situation in Singapore, good sales are expected to lead till Chinese New Year as we move to phase three".