More stall records tumble
The price for a prime dry goods stall doubled yesterday on the second day of the auction for the Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park.
In a day of record-breaking prices for some of the 284 dry goods stalls on offer, the most heated bidding was a 45-minute battle between two people. In the end, it was the most expensive deal for a dry goods stall in 10 years - HK$150,500 - more than double the HK$63,600 paid for the same stall last year.
The stall is located at the fair entrance, welcoming crowds swarming in from Great George Street in Causeway Bay.
The winner did not disclose her identity, but the losing bidder was Leung Yui-hung, who has sold the popular Guangdong chicken cake snacks at the fair for the past six years, and he had never had this stall.
'I stopped at HK$150,000 because otherwise I would have no money,' he said. 'I bought the one right next to it for HK$68,500, which is a great deal. Today is a good day.'
He said the price of eggs - a key ingredient - had gone up 20 per cent, but he would not be raising prices.
Eight of the dry good stalls are themed, twice as large as regular ones and only permit the sale of Lunar New Year-related food, spring couplets, toys or decorations. The most expensive themed stall drew a record-breaking HK$72,000 - the highest price for this type of stall in the past 10 years.
The winning bidder was a woman who did not disclose her identity, but said she would combine hers with another bidder who bought the themed stall next to hers.
On Wednesday a snack seller paid a record HK$510,000 for a fast-food stall.
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department records only go back 10 years because the Lunar New Year Fair was previously run by the then Urban Council.
Themed stalls are highly prized because they are located along the fair's central corridor leading up to the bronze statue of Queen Victoria - an area with the most foot traffic.
Last year's highest price for a themed stall broke previous records at HK$41,000, but this year even the lowest price of HK$54,000 beat it.
Many secondary school pupils led by their teachers successfully bid for stalls. Form Five pupils from Cheung Chuk Shan College who are studying business bought a stall for HK$28,000 to sell a traditionally inspired dragon pillow that they designed themselves to welcome the Year of the Dragon.
'Inflation has affected us a lot,' teacher Szeto Suet-ping said. 'In the past, we would have paid for shipment of our items from China after production. Now we are getting the students to carry some of the items back to Hong Kong, as well as visit the production site. We are also transporting our items to the fair ourselves instead of hiring movers.'