By Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh
BEIJING (Reuters) – High-end home appliances and camping gear were among Chinese shoppers’ most sought-after purchases during the “618” shopping festival, according to e-commerce platforms, a sign of how COVID restrictions -19 in China are guiding lifestyle changes.
The event was the first major shopping festival to take place since several Chinese cities, including Shanghai, were hit by a series of lockdowns to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Consumption in China remains weak as shoppers are confined to their homes in Shanghai and other cities. Retail sales fell another 6.7% in May from a year earlier, on top of an 11.1% contraction the previous month.
Sales at e-commerce giant JD.com, which first created the event in 2004, grew at their slowest pace on record to 379.3 billion yuan ($56.74 billion) , a sign of how recent shutdowns and slowing economic conditions have hurt spending.
Consumption in China remains weak, with retail sales in May falling 6.7% from a year earlier, on top of an 11.1% contraction the previous month.
Still, JD.com said its sales of gaming projectors and 4K high-definition projectors increased 10-fold during the event, while air fryers increased five-fold. Slim refrigerators – favored by shoppers with small homes – saw sales triple from a year earlier.
“Due to the outbreak, some consumers have seen their living space become smaller and this has made them think about adding ‘sparks’ to their lives,” JD.com said in a post Sunday. on his WeChat account.
Alibaba Group said Italian luxury coffee machine brand La Marzocco saw sales increase sixfold on the first day of its Tmall marketplace’s 618 event compared to a year earlier.
The platforms also reported an increase in sales of camping gear and outdoor gear, fueled by the growing popularity of outdoor activities, especially among city dwellers who had to endure two years of restrictive pandemic restrictions. .
Camping-related products more than tripled in sales on Tmall during its first round of 618 evening sales from May 31 to June 3, Alibaba said, with a new 2022 round of fishing reels from the Japanese brand d ‘Daiwa high-end fishing gear, priced at more than 5,000 yuan, selling out in seconds.
Additionally, growing health awareness during the pandemic has also prompted people to stock up on health products, JD.com said, citing soaring sales of organic milk, premium teas and fitness drinks. form.
($1 = 6.6871 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Sophie Yu, Brenda Goh)
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