Discounts campaign fails to grip shoppers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 February, 2009, 12:00am

The 'Cheer Up Hong Kong' campaign that coincided with the Standard Chartered Marathon received a lukewarm response, with most shoppers unaware of discounts offered by more than 3,000 businesses around the city.

In a bid to encourage Hongkongers to spend, all customers at participating shops enjoyed bargains on marathon day. Slurpees and milk tea at 7-Elevens were offered at just HK$1, a hot soup at Oliver's Super Sandwiches cost HK$5 and a meal set at Circle K was HK$10.

However, the HK$1 bargain at 7-Eleven proved elusive for some customers as shoppers found it hard to track down the slurpees, which were not sold at all outlets. Lau Yin-hei, 14, who bought a slurpee, said the price cut came as a pleasant surprise. 'I was expecting to pay the full price of HK$6.50, I had no idea they cut the price. Of course I am happy.'

But he doubted if the campaign could boost the economy. 'Not many people buy slurpees anyway, and the other offers do not sound very interesting,' he said.

A Ms Ho, who picked up a free bottle of water at Mannings, knew about the campaign but was unaware that it was one of the shops taking part.

'It's quite nice that I got a bottle of water. I did not shop here on purpose,' she said, adding that she would be interested in trying the HK$1 slurpee if she passed a 7-Eleven.

Customers visiting the Tai Cheong Bakery enjoyed egg tarts for HK$3.80, and upon shouting the slogan 'cheer up Hong Kong', a second egg tart was given away for free.

But Kong Wing-fai, a staff member at the bakery's Central shop, said the response had been average.

'In general, there are fewer customers during weekends in Central, but people are gradually flowing in,' he said.

'Because of the promotion, people will at least get two egg tarts today.'

Organiser of the campaign, Standard Chartered Bank, said it was satisfied with the turnout and hoped the campaign could spread the message the marathon was a big event for Hong Kong.

Cheap and cheerful

Some 3,000 businesses took part in the 'Cheer Up Hong Kong' discounts campaign

The usual cost of a slurpee at 7-Eleven is HK$6.50, but yesterday they were being sold for: $1




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