Gadget sale rings up HK$50m on first day

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 December, 2008, 12:00am

The recession may be forcing people to tighten their belts, but who can resist a 4GB memory card for HK$49 or the latest laser printer for half price?

The answer is: no one. At least that seemed to be the case at an outdoor computer festival yesterday. Thousands flocked the narrow streets of Sham Shui Po to buy laptops, monitors, printers and cameras at what exhibitors touted as 'tsunami prices'.

The organisers - Sham Shui Po District Council and the Chamber of Hong Kong Computer Industry - said that turnout was larger than expected on the first day, with sales topping HK$50 million.

Police had to implement crowd management measures as more than 5,000 people packed the festival in the first two hours.

The annual festival, which runs until Monday, has attracted more than 80 exhibitors. The organisers expect total turnout to exceed 400,000, with shoppers spending more than HK$180 million.

Eddy Wong, manager of a shop selling display monitors, said most products were selling at cost price, or 40 per cent off regular prices. He has more than a thousand monitors in stock. Some had sold out in the first few hours and he said: 'I am confident that all the stock will be sold.'

Computer salesman Calvin Tse said his shop sold about 10 laptops during the morning. He said most people had stopped spending in recent months. 'Business had been so quiet in the past few months, down about 40 per cent.' He predicted the outlook would be grim after the festival as 'we don't know when the economic downturn will be over'.

Vincent Leung, who went shopping in his lunch break, said he had been waiting for the festival to buy a monitor and a television set-top box for a total of HK$3,000, saving himself about HK$600.

Housewife Portia Li said the sale had encouraged her to spend. 'I have bought two extra display monitors because they are very cheap.'