Consumers browse products at a mall with promotional events for Double Five shopping festival in Shanghai on Monday. (LIU XIN/FOR CHINA DAILY)
To promote consumer spending and revitalize Shanghai's consumption, the Double Five shopping festival was officially unveiled on Sunday night. The event, originating in May 2020 and aiming to boost consumption while combating COVID-19, hopes to become a benchmark event and a key platform for developing the metropolis into an international consumption hub, said officials.
Extending from July to September, the shopping festival consists of a launch ceremony, an achievement announcing ceremony, the promotion of 12 benchmark activities, themed activities hosted by Shanghai's 16 districts and various featured activities, according to Gu Jun, head of the Shanghai municipal commission of commerce.
"We are going to further expand the depth of fashion consumption, solidify the thickness of the consumption, optimize the supply variety of the consumption, elevate the business reputation of the consumption… to transform Shanghai into a socialist modern international metropolis with international influence," said Gong Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, at the opening ceremony of the shopping festival.
The third version of the shopping festival will focus more on new consumption drivers, product debuts, the first stores of retail brands, new concepts, new business models and new technologies, among others, Gu said.
In the past few years, Shanghai has been speeding up introducing brands' first stores and new brands en route to building itself into a global consumption metropolis, and the first-store economy is becoming a phenomenon in the retail market, which greatly diversified the city's high-quality consumption offerings.
Last year, a total of 1,078 first stores were launched across Shanghai, including 14 global or Asian debuts, and 167 first stores on the Chinese mainland. In the meantime, international and domestic brands held more than 3,000 debut activities including product launching, shows and exhibitions, Gu said.
The trend continued its momentum in the first half, as 366 first stores were introduced, taking the lead in terms of both quantity and quality among Chinese cities, Gu added.
"In the future, Shanghai will continue to deepen its first store economy development, accelerate its attraction to brands and fashion resources at home and abroad, nurture specialized talents and organizations, speed up policy innovation and optimize the city's environment. We will try to attract more product debuts and get the first stores to land in Shanghai," Gu said.
The festival also includes an automotive vehicle consumption carnival to boost the city's car consumption.
Being one of the nation's most important cities for passenger vehicle manufacturing, exports and consumption, Shanghai contributes 11 percent of China's vehicle production, about 20 percent of parts and components and nearly 40 percent of exports, said Qiu Wenjin, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission.
The promotion activities during the shopping festival will greatly boost consumption confidence for vehicles, Qiu said.