Annual discount spree propels 16.6 percent surge in department stores sales
By Ted Chen The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Following the commencement of the annual discount season among department stores in September, overall commercial revenues saw a 1.13-percent surge, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on Oct. 22.
October 28, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Combined with the rise in demand for new apparel as consumers change wardrobes for the autumn and winter seasons, commercial revenues in September reached NT$1.2233 trillion, up 1.3 percent from figures recorded in the same period last year, and ending a four-month streak of declining results. Meanwhile, the wholesale sector contributed NT$871.4 billion in revenues to the aforementioned figure, and saw 0.2-percent year-on-year growth.
According to the MOEA, waning consumer demand for jewelry and precious metals were offset by the rise in demand for imported automobiles, while the earlier arrival of cooler weather this year and the stimulus effect of several high profile marathon events propelled demand for new apparel.
Most notably, revenues among Taiwan's department stores saw a 16.6-percent rise in September, reaching a scale of NT$22.4 billion, said the MOEA. The retail sector recorded revenues of NT$319.6 billion, up 4.4 percent year-on-year, marking its second consecutive month of growth. Concurrently, automobile sales saw a marked 17.7-percent growth, as consumers resumed new purchases following the conclusion of the ominous ghost month of the lunar calendar.
Meanwhile, the Mid-Autumn Festival stimulated demand for groceries and dining, propelling a 12 percent rise in supermarket sales and a 1.4-percent surge in revenues for restaurants. Beverage shops also registered a concurrent 11.5-percent rise in sales.
The MOEA expects commercial revenues may be able to hold a growing trajectory in October, with the release of new automobiles and mobile devices as well as the start of promotional discount initiatives by online and physical retailers. However, sales growth prospects may be hampered by the pervading slump in PC, home appliance, jewelry and precious metal sales.
The retail and wholesale sectors will play a pivotal role in determining whether overall commercial revenues maintain an upward trajectory in October. In addition, the wholesale sector will benefit greatly if export orders are sustained at current levels, said the MOEA, which also mentioned that the ongoing annual discount spree hosted by department stores throughout Taiwan was counted among the list of major factors affecting commercial revenue prospects in October, and whether results will exceed year-on-year figures.
On the ramifications of the ongoing cooking oil scandal, the MOEA stated that whether the incident will affect the restaurant business remains to be determined.