Shoppers think small for Easter

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 April, 1996, 12:00am

CHOCOLATE baskets, eggs, rabbits and chickens are gathering dust on supermarket shelves as shoppers tighten their belts and turn up their noses at Easter treats.

'Compared with last year, sales have dropped 50 per cent,' said Angel Lam, supervisor of the Taikoo Shing branch of Candy and Company.

'People are only interested in the inexpensive things - anything more expensive than $10 doesn't sell well,' she said.

The company had designed a small Easter basket package priced at $120, but sales had been very slow.

'They may end up going back to the factory when Easter is over. But we have some chocolate rabbits, at $10 each, and they sold out really fast,' Ms Lam said.

And shoppers agreed. Most told the Sunday Morning Post they had no intention of indulging in expensive seasonal luxuries.

Lee Ho-shun, nine, said she loved devouring chocolate eggs, but would not have any this year.

'Mother did not buy any this time because she said we already have too many chocolates at home.' The manager of a Kalm's gift shop branch said parents were reluctant to pay up to $70 for chocolate eggs for their children.

'I don't know if it is an excuse, but they tell their kids that the eggs cause coughing and sometimes they even say that the egg is too big for them,' he said.

But it was a different story at Oliver's Delicatessen in Prince's Building yesterday, where sales aimed at expatriates went through the roof.

Store manager Lo Yiu-fai said Easter egg sales had outstripped last year's figures by six times.

'We had several hundred boxes of Easter eggs, ranging from $30 to $300 - and all are sold out now.' 'Expatriates and tourists bought the high-priced products while Chinese customers bought medium-priced eggs from $50 to $100.'