Demand for delicacies fuels surge in expo sales
Hongkongers' enthusiasm for abalone and other delicacies, bolstered by the government's HK$6,000 handouts, helped spur a 20 per cent surge in sales at last year's Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo.
Sales reached more than HK$600 million at the annual expo at Victoria Park, which ended yesterday.
Exhibitors said visitors were more willing to spend to stock up for the early arrival of the Lunar New Year later this month.
Sales were also boosted by organised bus visits for mainlanders from Shenzhen, and visits by 4,000 low- income families, which each received a HK$500 subsidy.
The 24-day fair saw a record 2.52 million visitors, 120,000 more than the previous year.
More mainland visitors were in a generous spending mood.
One such mainlander spent HK$180,000 on buying 1,296 cans of abalone from Tung Fong Hung.
The exhibitor's stock of canned abalones ran out a week ago and was resupplied only yesterday.
Another mainlander, from Fujian province, spent HK$80,000 on bird's nest and caterpillar fungus at the Imperial Bird's Nest booth.
Mak Chau-ying, the company's area manager, said mainlanders accounted for a third of their customers, spending HK$8,000 on average.
Local shoppers spent a modest average of HK$2,000 each.
Some local visitors said the government's HK$6,000 handouts to all permanent residents motivated them to spend more.
'Each time I buy something I think of the HK$6,000, and it makes me happy,' said Win Lee, a housewife from Causeway Bay.
The Miss Exhibition Pageant at the expo also helped to attract and amuse visitors.
Separately, the week-long Computer Mall Festival, at four Sham Shui Po malls, closed yesterday with an average daily visitorship of 80,000 and sales that were well above the usual levels.