Entertainment has become a main source of Shanghai's retail sales growth during the Spring Festival holiday as people were busy with seeing movies, going exercising or touring around, according to the Shanghai Commission of Commerce.
Service providers of entertainment including cinemas, gyms and travel agencies reported their income between January 31 and February 13 jumped 19.6 percent from a year earlier, much higher than the average retail sales growth of 8.2 percent during the period.
"People pay more attention to the quality of how they spend the holiday, and it is now a time for better relaxation and enjoyment," said Hao Jie, an official at the commission.
The data showed it cost Shanghai people an average 2,600 yuan (US$400) per capita for entertainment during the holiday, or the most nationwide.
In comparison, restaurants still delivered sales growth, but with a slower pace. But the commission did not specify. Their business was robust on the eve of the Chinese New Year when the income rose 14.5 percent, a remarkable growth considering the prices of dining decreased to 2,661 yuan per table from 3,069 yuan a year ago.
Department stores and shopping centers had to brave fiercer competition from online sellers. They said their sales declined, but a few reported a good performance after efforts of restructuring. Parkson Newcore, a city mall re-opened at the end of last year in Changning District, said its income more than doubled during the festival as it renovated to become more modern and introduced more self-labeled products to differentiate from others.
The 8.2-percent growth of retail sales moderated from the pace of 12.6 percent a year earlier and 8.8 percent in 2014.