Sales strong during Chinese New Year festival in Singapore

12:46, February 05, 2011      

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Sales have been strong as more people went out to enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore, thanks to the booming economy.

River Hongbao, a major event during the Chinese New Year featuring an array of performances and exhibitions and food stalls at the Marina Bay waterfront, attracted 250,000 visitors in the first three days, organizers said Friday.

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong also visited the exhibition on Friday night.

Sales were initially down by up to 30 percent due to rains, but things were starting to pick up, said the stall owners. The event will run till Feb. 13.

Sales at other bazaars and exhibitions have also been strong. Xinhua reporter saw huge crowds in the streets of Chinatown and long queues outside an outlet of Bee Cheng Hiang, a brand of bak kwa, a salty-sweet dried meat product favored by the local Chinese population.

The sales of Chinese New Year goodies such as cookies and bak kwa have been particularly strong, as people queued outside outlets of brands such as Lim Chee Guan and Bee Cheng Hiang despite record prices.

Some shops were selling their bak kwa at close to 50 Singapore dollars (39.1 U.S. dollars) per kilogram.

Local television Channel NewsAsia said the prices of Chinese New Year goodies have gone up by as much as 20 percent from last year.

But even this did not diminish the sales. Analysts said the shops have the power to pass rising costs on to consumers because of the stronger economy.

A long queue was seen outside an outlet of Lim Chee Guan in Orchard on Wednesday. A shop assistant said its signature bak kwa product was almost sold in the early afternoon.

People are also going out to the resorts.

The resort island of Sentosa attracted huge crowds, partly thanks to the recent opening of a boardwalk linking the island to VivoCity shopping mall on the main island of Singapore. People have to wait for 45 minutes in the queue for the express train service to the island on Friday despite the opening of the new access point.

Online sales were also going strong as some opted for the more convenient way of shopping.

And car rentals were up 25 percent to 30 percent, industry players said.

Source: Xinhua
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