More than 160,000 shop for bargains on closing day of food, electronics fair

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 December, 2008, 12:00am

More than 160,000 shoppers and bargain hunters flocked to the Convention and Exhibition Centre on the last day of a food and electronics fair yesterday, snapping up everything from cut-price seafood to plasma television sets.

Hongkong-Asia Exhibition, organiser of the annual Hong Kong Food Festival and Electrical Appliances and Domestic Electronic Products Expo, estimated that more than 700,000 people visited the four-day fair, 6 per cent up on last year. Each visitor spent an average of HK$1,100.

A spokeswoman said the economic downturn had driven more people to spend Christmas in Hong Kong, so sales volume could reach up to HK$270 million this year, 20 per cent up on last year.

In Victoria Park, 51,671 people had visited the Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo by 5pm yesterday, said the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, which organised the event.

At the food festival, queues were especially long at stalls selling Japanese spider crabs, while a special deal offering 2,000 frozen fish for HK$1 each lasted just two hours.

'I spent about HK$3,000, mostly on seafood,' shopper Ms Mak said. 'The prices are reasonable, but it's way too crowded.'

Wan Lai-fong, who shopped at the food festival and the Brands and Products Expo, said she spent nearly HK$10,000. Her trolley was full of abalone, noodles, mushrooms and pigs' feet.

'Prices are generally cheaper than in supermarkets, so it is wiser to spend money here,' Ms Wan said.

However, spending on electronic goods was more restrained. Computer retailer Grace Chiu Sau-yan said business was 'so-so' for non-food stalls, adding that she felt the electrical appliances fair was only a 'subsidiary' of the food festival.

'Most visitors came for the HK$1 crabs,' she said.

'Computer products are generally more expensive, and people are not prepared to buy anything more expensive than HK$200.'