BEIJING — The Chinese didn’t just set off thousands of fireworks and feast on banquets of dumplings during the recent Lunar New Year holiday, which ran Feb. 2 through Feb. 8. They did plenty of shopping as well.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Chinese consumers spent 404.5 billion renminbi, or about $61 billion, over the seven-day holiday period, also known as Golden Week. That’s a 19 percent increase from the year before.
Retail spending spiked even higher outside of first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. In Shanxi Province, for example, sales were up 23 percent, while Sichuan Province saw a 21.5 percent gain and Tianjin, a city about an hour away from Beijing, had a 20 percent increase, according to the commerce ministry.
Jewelry, particularly gold and diamonds, as well as consumer electronics and household appliances were among the top performing retail categories. In Beijing’s Caishikou department store, diamond sales were up 95 percent, the ministry said. Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad, were also in high demand.
Song Zhi Yuan, a 45-year-old millionaire who works for a Shanghai-based engineering company, said he bought around a dozen iPhone 4s and iPads for clients and government officials who helped the company secure contracts. In total, he said he spent around 20,000 renminbi, or $3,000, over the holiday period.
“This year, I prepared more than 50 Chinese tea sets and also gave iPhones and iPads for Chinese officials,” Song said. “They have the authority to give projects.”
Zhang Wen Kai earns around 100 million renminbi, or $15.2 million, annually with the tile manufacturing business she runs in Foshan, a city in the southern province of Guangdong. She said she spent 50,000 renminbi, or $7,576, on gifts this year. Zhang said she bought designer clothing, including items from Louis Vuitton and Fendi, for friends and business associates, as well as wine and bird’s nest, an ingredient used in Chinese cuisine that runs about $1,000 a box.
A survey conducted by the Beijing Meilande Information consulting firm found that Chinese families, on average, spent 10,105 renminbi, or $1,531, for this year’s holiday, compared with an average of 5,181 renminbi, or $785, in 2010.
The Chinese are also shopping abroad. The Meilande survey found 11.6 percent traveled outside of China for the Lunar New Year, a 3.3 percent increase from the year before. They’re going to places like Las Vegas, New York and Europe.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board said visitor arrivals from Mainland China during Golden Week reached a new high of 662,928 people. The organization said that is 15.7 percent more travelers than the year before.
Eight hundred Chinese tourists traveled to Vegas for Golden Week, where they received a two-hour private tour of Macy’s, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported. The travelers, from Beijing and Guangzhou, had annual incomes of more than 200,000 renminbi, or $30,304. Twenty percent earned between 600,000 renminbi, or $90,912, and 1 million renminbi, or $151,520, the newspaper said.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)